RUTLAND COUNTY-Hundreds of participants rose to the challenge of
walking 100 miles in 100 days earlier this week. Although the
program officially kicked off on Monday, there is plenty of time to
catch up if new participants want to join. As long as you complete
your 100 miles by the 100th day and document them, you are eligible
This is the fourth annual challenge presented by WalkRutland
which is a part of the larger Rutland Area Physical Activity
Coalition (RAPAC). According to a recent release "last year, about
400 people participated, walking 31,785 miles with finishers
averaging 3 pounds of weight lost. This year, our goal is 500
participants with at least 85% completing the challenge. Families
are encouraged to participate together. This will be the first year
youth are invited to register and will be eligible for prizes."
WalkRutland also offers guided walks in the region as a part of
this program and information about walking for health.
Wendy Reese is the program director for WalkRutland and she has
a background in fitness as a certified YMCA Walk Reebok Instructor,
personal trainer, and yoga instructor. She is a firm believer that
simply walking is a free and accessible way to improve health.
"Walking requires no gym membership or special equipment, we all
know how to do it, it can be incorporated into bite sized pieces
throughout the day. It's a great opportunity to spend some quality
time with a friend, significant other, or children where
communication can flow freely, uninterrupted by the daily tasks of
life," she said. "As you start to walk more, you can feel a change
in your endurance, perhaps see the pounds start to slip off, you
feel more confident about trying new activities. Weight bearing
activity means stronger bones, physical activity equals more
muscles, increased metabolism and weight loss, mental health from
clearing the mind and endorphin release, improved endurance and
stamina, better sleep, decrease risks associated with diabetes and
According to the WalkRutland website, approximately 45% of adult
Vermonters do not achieve the recommended amount of physical
activity and 18% of all adults are not active at all. 73% of
Vermont students do not exercise moderately five or more days per
week, and they spend three or more hours per school day watching
TV, playing video games or using the computer.
In addition, Rutland County is above the state average for death
rate from heart disease and has the third lowest percentage of
residents engaging in regular physical activity in the state. Wendy
reminds walkers that "you have nothing to lose (it is free) and
everything to gain (your health and prizes) by taking that first
step. Joining the challenge provides something to be accountable,
it has rewards for the finishers, and think about how great it will
feel to tell everyone you know, 'I have already walked 100 miles
this year and it's just May!'
The challenge, which began Jan. 21, ends April 30, 2013.
Participants who mail in their qualifying final walking logs by May
7, 2013 will be eligible for prizes. These prizes will be
distributed on Saturday, May 12, at Rutland's Depot Park in
conjunction with the Farmers Market.
For more information on the challenge, please visit
www.walkrutland.com or call Wendy Reese, WalkRutland Coordinator,
at: 802 775-4199.