WALK Newsletter #9 – November 10th, 2021

W – Wow: WAT! 25 Challenge Participation Update

Building bridges… that is the theme for this week’s newsletter. Your WAT! journey may be a bridge for you from inactivity to regular and consistent activity. It might be a bridge between casual walking and a race like a 5K or a special purpose walking event. Either way, building bridges is important in our progress to healthier living, and we are grateful WAT! can help. 

As a part of our celebration, we have been exploring some history about the past 25 years of WAT! In our last newsletter we told you about Flossie Jasper who produced the idea for Walk Across Texas! As the idea caught on and the concept grew, it was important to build bridges that would fill the gaps between small individual county efforts and state-wide coordination. Dr. Carol Rice, in concert with Flo Jasper, were the true pioneers with the vision for expanding the program statewide. Then, Extension Specialist Alice Kirk became “chief bridge builder” and led the program into a significant period of expansion. The Walk Across Texas! program (WAT!) was recognized in 2006, as a Best Practice Physical Activity Program by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Simultaneously, the website underwent updates in mileage entry, which blazed the trail for NEW collaborative agency partnerships and led to statewide coordinated Walk Across Texas! challenges to support Employee Wellness Initiatives.

Through Alice’s leadership businesses and agencies with branches across the state were able to host employee challenges and recognize employee participation from Lubbock down to Brownsville and El Paso over to Texarkana. Likewise, Alice encouraged partnership with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that led to the 1st Annual TEA/WAT! Schools Challenge in 2009. The concerted efforts to get youth and their families to move spurred the development of new school resources and equivalencies charts to help capture the many ways in which youth and their families are active. Although Alice’s talents were needed elsewhere to grow other Extension programs in Child Health, WAT! continues to have a special place in her heart and she continues to lend a hand in the development of the WAT! Youth program; a perfect complement to her physical activity and obesity prevention responsibilities. WAT! would not be the program it is today without Alice Kirk’s talent and dedication. Currently, the WAT! program continues to find ways to reach all Texans where they are on their journey to get active through programs that target worksites, schools, 4-H and after school clubs, church congregations or just friends coming together to walk and talk! Thank you, Alice, for building the bridge that brings WAT! to all Texans!

We are also building bridges in our #WAT25 challenge, right now!! Teams who began participating in early to mid-September are finishing their 8 weeks, and other teams have just started in November. We will continue sending newsletters through the next several weeks to bridge the gaps between the staggered start dates. Speaking of newsletters, click here to see all the previous WALK newsletters!  

A 25th year anniversary is just too exciting to contain into a brief period! We will continue to add up the miles for the #WAT25 challenge. Our current grand totals are: 4,551 participants and 769 teams, with 101 leagues and 102 counties, adding up to 610,127.74 miles in the WAT Adult program; and 4,227 participants and 112 teams, with 23 leagues and 34 counties, adding up to 40,108.32 miles in the WAT! Youth program. That is a bridge worth celebrating!!

Congratulations to the winners of the random drawing from those who entered mileage on four or more days this past week:

WAT! Adult – Mini Challenge #8 Winners

Participant 

Team Name

Mileage Entries

Jamie K.

Unleashed at CVMBS

5

Hailey C.

The Walkamolies

6

Cori P.

RRSP Pacesetters 2

7

Dalaiah E.

TAMU English

6

JeDonna B.

AA Kickin’ up Dust Once Again

5

Rachael C.

Ready 2 Retire

7

Karen B.

WNJ Road Runners

6

Joshua H.

MiddleCru-6

7

Susan P.

Walk-A-Moleys

7

Mishelle L.

WeCudBNapn

6

Congratulations to the winners of the raffle drawing for a brand-new mini challenge, see below for more details:

WAT! Adult – Wrap Up #1 Winners

Participant

Team Name

Eva S.

2021 Search Dog Walkers

Lee M.

Saddle Up Striders

Julio T.

Team Godzilla

Julia M.

Tenderfeet

David A.

Rotary Club of Carthage

 All Winners – be on the lookout for an email about how to claim your prize! 

A - Action: Mini Challenge #9:

 WAT! Adult – Mini Challenge #9: Our ninth mini-challenge, we are back to recognizing those who have entered 7.5 miles total in one week into your Howdy Health accounts! 

 To be eligible, you must enter 7.5 miles or more from Wednesday, November 10th – Tuesday November 16th, 2021. In the next newsletter, we will announce 10 randomly selected winners of a $10 dollar gift card to Amazon. It doesn’t matter what week of the WAT! program that you are in, but mileage must be submitted by Tuesday November 16th by 11:59 PM to be entered!

 *NEW WAT! ADULT PROGRAM MINI CHALLENGE!!* 

We have decided to add an additional weekly mini challenge to the fun! Once you complete the WAT! Adult program, and submit final mileage, there is one last step to close out the program! The wrap-up form helps us to understand the effectiveness of the program and where we might need to make improvements!  

To be entered, submit the WAT! Adult program wrap-up form in your Howdy Health account and you will be eligible for 5 randomly selected winners of a $10 dollar gift card to Amazon for each of our remaining WAT! 25 Challenge WALK newsletters! Thank you for helping us tell our story and share in your successes!  

 WAT! Youth – November Mini Challenge: Welcome to the third round of the monthly recognition called the Texas Youth on the Move awards. To enter for the month of November, WAT! Youth teams must log mileage from November 1st through November 30th. Prizes will be awarded in three categories: Schools, Youth Organizations and Small Group teams (20 team members or less). Team captains will receive an Amazon gift card to use in support of their youth program through a random drawing. The third round of winners will be recognized in the Wednesday, December 1st newsletter. Teams must register to join the WAT! 25 Challenge – WAT! Youth program, and log mileage, by Tuesday, November 30th by 11:59 PM to be entered.

L – Learn:

When we are trying to make an improvement or meet a goal, it can be useful to have a few tools to help. You need tools to build bridges, right!?!? Try out these tools as you bridge your healthy habits: 

Energy Balance: ENERGY IN & ENERGY OUT is a worksheet from the National, Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to help you and your family better understand balancing energy from food – “energy in” – with physical activity – “energy out” – to maintain a healthy weight. 

Exercise Activity Calculator is an interactive tool from the American Cancer Society (ACS) that allows you to select your physical activity type and shows you an approximation of how many calories you could burn in an hour of that activity. 

Calculate Your Target Heart Rate, also from the ACS, is an interactive tool that allows you to simply enter your age to find your estimated target heart rate during exercise. Information is also provided on how to check your heart rate. You can get the most out of your physical activity by staying within this range of heart beats per minute.

WAT! Youth Tip: We all need a mental break here and there! Here is a fantastic way to help students in the classroom take a “breather”: Apply simple yoga poses to support students with taking a mental breather. Online youth videos are great resources that can be utilized to teach kids yoga.

K – Keep Building:

To build a healthy lifestyle, it is important to take the steps necessary for a solid foundation and continued resiliency. It can be tough sometimes, especially for those of us who struggle with weight. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offers a weight management program called “Step Up Scale Down” This 12-week educational program is based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines, which help Americans choose a healthful eating plan within their calorie requirements to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. The Dietary Guidelines provide sound scientific information about how proper dietary habits can promote health and reduce risk for major chronic diseases. Step Up Scale Down helps participants lead a healthy life by educating on the steps and behaviors to implement in everyday life to achieve a healthy weight. Step Up Scale Down is not and does not promote fad dieting, quick fixes, or drastic measures to achieve a healthy weight. The information and behavior changes taught in this course include gaining motivation, setting goals, increasing fruits and vegetables, balancing food groups, increasing physical activity, and making smart behavior choices. By practicing these changes, beginning with Step Up Scale Down and continuing over a lifetime, participants can create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition, a workout plan is included in each lesson for participants interested in jogging or running. The workout plan was designed so that, upon completion of the 12 weeks, the participant could be ready for a 5K eventHow is that for a bridge between WAT! and lifelong healthy living?!!?

Check with your local FCH agent about opportunities in your area

Now, we want to do a quick shout out to individual participants who have built up their steps to be the adult walker with the most miles sorted by each starting date (as of 11-9-21):

County

Start Date

Name

Team

Miles

Jones

9/1/2021

Zeke C.

Wacky Walkers

506.7

Potter

9/3/2021

Jan D.

Legs Miserable

468

Panola

9/5/2021

Bill M.

Rotary Club of Carthage Too

442.75

Brazos

9/6/2021

Dorothy R.

L Cool Seniors

396

Hidalgo

9/7/2021

Victoria G.

Gel Runners

305.39

Nueces

9/8/2021

Julio T.

Team Godzilla

798.94

Deaf Smith

9/9/2021

Ida S. H.

Boom Chaka Laka

341.27

Montgomery

9/10/2021

Paul B.

Red Hot Chili Steppers

427

Cherokee

9/11/2021

Leann H.

RhsEagleCrew

256.11

Gillespie

9/13/2021

Darrell B.

DragonDeathForce2000X

561.84

Wise

9/14/2021

David L.

FBC Decatur Texas

485.3

Brazos

9/15/2021

Jake G.

Wandering Wildlanders

1009.3

Brazos

9/16/2021

Monty D.

The Motley Crew

649.97

Coryell

9/17/2021

Patricia K.

Pawsitive Cattitude WLE

576.3

Lampasas

9/18/2021

Wendy T.

Chisholm Trail Chorus Trekkers

346.25

Travis

9/19/2021

David S.

Taking Life in Stride

569.1

Bowie

9/20/2021

Brett M.

The Walking Tread

814.68

Coryell

9/21/2021

Mary Kay R.

The Superheroes

451.5

Bell

9/22/2021

Stephanie H.

BECSorange

393.67

Navarro

9/23/2021

RosaElla W.

The Counties Best!

305.9

McLennan

9/24/2021

Dana M.

Go Grad School Gals

166.35

Grayson

9/25/2021

Angie D.

Tigers

746.66

Galveston

9/26/2021

Marishika W.

Charlie's Ankles

630.22

Montgomery

9/27/2021

Bowman C.

Hoofin' it to Hilltop

636

Dallas

9/28/2021

David M.

The Walkers 2021

173.2

Cameron

9/29/2021

Robert R.

Eagles

426.24

Cameron

9/30/2021

Consuelo U.-S.

CRU Family 9

316.2

Baylor

10/1/2021

Dan L.

Busted Soles of Baylor County

263.9

McLennan

10/3/2021

Brian S.

Lone Arrangers

214.9

Deaf Smith

10/4/2021

Michael B.

School of Walk

402

Anderson

10/5/2021

Linda W.

Step It Up

129.67

Cherokee

10/7/2021

Heather B.

Wick

88.8

Hidalgo

10/13/2021

Veronica R.

Master Clothing Volunteers

226

Cherokee

10/14/2021

Mandy M.

The Millers

86

Van Zandt

10/16/2021

Cindy D.

WAFOWASL Walkers

109.15

Milam

10/19/2021

Rodricus F.

ToonSquadz

5

Gregg

10/20/2021

Brittany C.

All About That Pace

94.85

Coryell

11/1/2021

Andrea W.

Senior Power

72

Nueces

11/2/2021

Denise C.

Flour Bluff Butterflies

22.9

Harris

11/8/2021

Peggy Z.

Texas two steppers

6

WALK Newsletter #8 – November 3rd, 2021
WALK Newsletter #10 – November 17th, 2021

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