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My mama is 78 years old (and she will probably shoot me after she reads this article), but you would never think that if you followed her around for a week. So maybe, I should say 78 years young (although I will still be in trouble).

I am sharing this because she is my hero when it comes to living life well and being a lifelong learner. I credit part of why she is able to do so many things with the fact that she exercises and keeps moving. For the last five years, she has participated in the program Extension Get Fit. She and over 300 more people in our county come together each week to increase their strength and improve balance and flexibility.

Studies have shown that a regular exercise program can help with weight management, reduce diabetes and stroke risk, increase energy levels and improve an overall sense of energy. Extension Get Fit is a community-based strength training program targeted to adult Arkansans. It utilizes trained volunteer leaders using research-based exercises and methods and only costs $20 a year to join. Participants use low-cost weights and equipment and meet at least twice a week at eight sites around the county.

One EGF member, Linda Scott, says, "Joining the Strong Women/Get Fit program has added active years to my life. Due to my 13 years of faithful attendance, my doctor has witnessed lowered cholesterol, a firmer, trimmer body, and maintained flexibility for his 83-year-old patient. A wonderful bonus is that it is easy and fun working out with such a great bunch of gals."

"Before starting this program, I had issues with strength, balance, and climbing stairs without pain. The Get Fit leaders and the facilities we use are top notch. I strongly recommend this wonderful exercise program to anyone who wants to improve their overall health," says one of our East Gate EGF members in Hot Springs Village.

Maybe you are like me, too often, I have had excuses for why I was not fit. Too busy, too tired and sometimes, even too lazy. We know what we need to do, but just cannot seem to get started. March is Living Well Month and our health is too important to have good intentions that never are acted upon. As one EGF member puts it, "I have always exercised, but Get Fit is different. From my head to my toes, I feel strengthened, stretched, and balanced after each class. I am a newer member, but I am committed to this program to maintain a healthy body as I age."

If you would like more information about Extension Get Fit or our other family and consumer science programs, contact the Garland County Extension office at 501-623-6841 or email Alison Crane at acrane@uaex.edu. You can also like our Facebook pages @garlandEGF, @GarlandFCS and @GarlandCountyEHC to keep up to date on events and programs available in our county. If you would be interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer leader for an EGF group at your church or community, contact Alison Crane.

4-H Club information

For information about Garland County 4-H Club membership or program benefits, contact Linda Bates at the Garland County Cooperative Extension office located at 236 Woodbine, call 501-623-6841, or email lbates@uaex.edu. Additional information is available at http://www.uaex.edu/garland.

Master Gardener information

If you have an interest in gardening, you may want to apply to become a Master Gardener. You may obtain an application by calling our office to have one emailed to you, or by picking one up at the Cooperative Extension office, 236 Woodbine. You're welcome to attend the monthly Master Gardener meeting which is held on the third Thursday of each month, 12:30 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 132 Abbott Place. The meetings are open to the public and guests are always welcome. Call the Extension office at 623-6841 for more information.

EHC information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC, call 623-6841 or email Alison Crane at acrane@uaex.edu. Follow Alison on Facebook @garlandEGF and @Garland FCS, and EHC on Facebook @GarlandCountyEHC.

Society on 03/25/2019

Print Headline: How $20 can change your life

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