Walk 100 miles with me for city's health
March 24, 2011
by Karl Dean, Mayor of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County.
One of my goals for our city in 2011 is to make healthier choices in our daily lives and help build a culture of wellness throughout Nashville. To reach our objective, I am encouraging our community agencies, schools, businesses, health-care professionals and government agencies to turn their attention to providing and promoting healthy lifestyle choices as a means to improve health and control the escalating cost of health care. Walking on a regular basis is an easy way to make a significant change in our individual health.
We have much work to do. According to the Tennessee Institute of Public Health, the adult obesity rate in Davidson County is 30 percent, while the state Department of Health reports that 31 percent of Tennesseans engage in no physical activity. We need to get moving on changing these statistics and making our community a healthier place to live.
Youth wellness issue
We must also think of our city's future: our youth. Tennessee has the nation's fourth-highest rate of overweight youths (ages 10-17) at 20 percent, according to the Trust for America's Health.
Our schools are going to be very involved in "Walk 100 Miles," creating contests and challenges between classes and grade levels to register students to walk with us.
To get us started, I am challenging each Nashvillian to join our walking group and walk 100 miles by July 9. On Tuesday, we launched a new website, www.walk100miles.com, where individuals can create a profile, register to walk and maintain a personalized tracker of how many miles you have logged. You'll also be seeing "Walk 100 Miles" on Facebook and YouTube and make sure you are following us on Twitter.
The official "Walk 100 Miles" walks will begin with a two-mile walk through the Tennessee Bicentennial Capitol Mall park on April 2 and end on July 9 with a walk at the Shelby Bottoms Greenway. Along the way, we are going to walk and hike through our Metro parks and greenways, taking advantage of one of America's finest parks and greenways systems.
We need to get into these open spaces and take a walk with our families, friends and neighbors, and even if you cannot join us for our scheduled walks, I encourage you to get out this spring and walk 100 miles on your own, whether it's in a Metro park, around your neighborhood or on the track of a nearby high school.
Come on along, Nashville. Let's get moving!
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