Registration for Walk Across Arkansas opens Feb. 27

Walk Across Arkansas' spring event will be held March 13-14.

The eight-week exercise program is organized each spring and fall by the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, with the goal of helping Arkansans improve their health, a news release said.

Participation is free, and registration opens on Feb. 27 at http://www.walk.uada.edu.

Garland County will hold a kickoff event at 4:30 p.m. on March 13 at the Garland County Cooperative Extension Service, 236 Woodbine St. Participants will gather on the corner of Woodbine and Hazel, and will walk the courthouse block to "celebrate our journey to good health," the release said. The public is welcome to attend.

"Last year, we had 33 participants from Garland County. We hope to set a new record this year of 50 walkers," it said.

Last fall, 776 Arkansans statewide participated in the Fall 2022 Walk Across Arkansas, logging 239,998,176 minutes. There were 152 participating teams across the state.

"Many of those participants reported they had more energy, slept better, controlled stress, strengthened relationships, lost weight or inches, and improved their blood panels and blood pressure," the release said.

The event focuses on physical activity minutes and helping participants increase their physical activity. Physical activity can lower the risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and some cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Exercise also helps with weight loss and weight control and can improve mood and energy level. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, and youths need at least 60 minutes of exercise daily, the release said.

"Many folks really enjoy the social aspect and like to walk together. If you work full-time, you may need to walk whenever you can, but your team is there to motivate and support you," Alison Crane, Garland County FCS agent, said in the release.

According to Crane, Walk Across Arkansas is a "great way to establish good health habits and the team aspect increases the benefits."

Register a team at http://www.walk.uada.edu. Then, from March 13 through May 14, record the amount of time spent walking or getting any other form of exercise.

Minutes can be logged online, or paper forms are available from the local county extension agent to track minutes until they can be logged online. Call Crane at 501-623-6841 or email [email protected] for more information.