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The University of Tennessee

Walk Across Tennessee

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A UT Extension program designed to increase the daily physical activity of Tennesseans aimed at:

  • Decreasing the overweight and obesity trends in the state.
  • Developing a more active life to help Tennesseans manage illnesses and chronic diseases.
  • Developing a more physically active life to help Tennesseans protect physical and emotional health.

Join this University of Tennessee Walking Program!

Looking for a unique and fun way to motivate your employees, church members, county residents, or students to become physically active? Maybe you are looking for a way to help motivate yourself to become more physically active. Whatever your needs are, Walk Across Tennessee can provide the support and fun needed to get people moving!

What is Walk Across Tennessee?

Walk Across Tennessee is an 8-week walking program for teams of eight people. The teams will have a friendly competition to see who can log the most miles walking, jogging, biking, dancing or other types of physical activity.

Team members do not have to walk together. Some may prefer to walk outside, while others walk on a treadmill. You may choose from a variety of activities by using physical activity equivalents.

Those miles will be recorded on a Tennessee map posted in your county UT Extension office and other places around your community or organization, so everyone can see the teams' progress. The team who walks the farthest "across Tennessee" will win, but everyone who participates will take home a healthy habit . . . walking for fitness.

The program materials contain all the information and forms needed to implement Walk Across Tennessee! Additional materials are provided on various health topics called Health Breaks, which are brief classes with handouts. Topics addressed include: alzheimer's disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, physical activity, preventive health care, stress and weight management. Also available are Health Breaks for Youth. Topics covered include: physical activity, safety, nutrition, tobacco use and sun safety.

Why Join This Walking Program?

  • Get fit
  • Lose weight
  • Meet new people
  • Developing a walking habit
  • Have fun
  • Decrease blood pressure, blood cholesterol or blood glucose levels

Who Can Join?

Any one can join this walking program. You can form teams of neighbors, friends, family members or at specific places such as schools, worksites, churches, fitness and recreational centers, assisted living, hospitals and health departments.

Why Walk?

Over sixty percent of adult Tennesseans are overweight or obese. The lack of physical activity is a major reason why children, teens and adults are overweight. Developing the walking habit is a simple and inexpensive way to move more.

Moving More Protects Your Health

Participants have reported these benefits:

  • Keeps you at a healthy weight
  • Improves your mood and your ability to cope with stress
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Strengthens your immune system to fight infections
  • Increases your flexibility to reduce falls
  • Makes you feel more energetic
  • Helps you lose weight if needed

Moving More Fights Chronic Diseases

  • Arthritis --- strengthens muscles around the joints
  • Cancer --- helps to protect you against some cancers
  • Diabetes --- improves blood sugar control
  • Heart Disease --- lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis --- helps to strengthen and build bones
  • Overweight and obesity --- drop pounds and keep them off

Want to Join or Offer a Walk Across Tennessee Program?

Contact your county Extension office or:

Barbara (Bobbi) P. Clarke, Ph.D., R.D.
Professor, Extension Health Specialist and Co-Director,
UT Center for Community Health Literacy
Phone: (865) 974-8197
Fax: (865) 974-5370
E-mail: bclarke@utk.edu

Publications

Read these publications for tips on how to be physically active.