Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Walk Georgia

Posted by romeethredge on October 4, 2013

UGA online exercise program teaches fitness, Georgia geography

I’m walking Georgia. It’s a fun online program where you log in your exercise and see how far you have walked as you go across Georgia. As you go from county to county you learn interesting facts about Georgia counties.

Here’s what it looks like when you go to the site to register and log on.

Fullscreen capture 1042013 91143 AM

More than 3,800 Georgians spent 12 weeks last year “walking” across the state, losing weight, toning up and getting healthier along the way. They all participated in University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s free online fitness program Walk Georgia.

The program debuted in spring 2008. It is designed to increase physical activity and get Georgians moving.

Participants can form teams and challenge each other to get fit, or sign up as individuals. They track their progress online and virtually chart a course across the state from the Georgia mountains to the Marshes of Glynn.

“I loved inputting my activity, especially when I would get enough miles so that I could pick new counties,” said Lisa Plank, a participant from Winterville. “I really liked going from county to county, not only for the fun facts, but also because I could see, albeit in a smaller scale, just how much I did exercise.” Plank lost weight and gained muscle and discovered what she eats is as important to her fitness and wellness as how much she exercises. “I became more confident in my body and in my ability and stamina,” said Plank, who recently completed her first 5K race and placed third in her age category. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been proud of myself for a physical accomplishment.”

In addition to walking, activities like aerobics, biking, jogging and yoga can be logged. Time spent exercising is converted into miles, which participants use to move across an online map. Since the program began in 2008, 30,000 participants have logged over three million miles worth of physical activity in the program.

The most popular exercises logged during the last session were walking, stretching, weight lifting, cycling, aerobics, using an exercise machine, step aerobics and elliptical training.

Through Walk Georgia, Ben Free of Fayetteville advanced his own exercise regiment and began teaching aerobics.  The retired school teacher did all of this from his wheel chair.

“After I joined Walk Georgia I went to the exercise room two to three times a week. I started Tai Chi, began enjoying exercising and saw my goals reached,” he said. He now teaches a chair aerobics class at the Fayette County Senior Center. Free said he and his students “do everything that a person can do standing, but we do it in a chair.” Of the adult participants, 98.5 percent said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the program.  Ninety-three percent agreed that the program encouraged them to exercise.

Registration for the next session will begin September 1  and run through October 9. Participants will log their activity September 1 – November 23. For more information, contact your UGA Extension agent at 1-800-275-8421, or go to the Web site http://www.walkgeorgia.org.

Here’s what my page looks like now. I’ve walked 3 counties worth!!

Fullscreen capture 1042013 91027 AM

Parts of this article were written by Sharon Dowdy , UGA

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One Response to “Walk Georgia”

  1. juliepd said

    Our district extension director. Dr. Pete Vergot, shared your article with us today. It sounds like a great program.
    I’d like to share some information with you about an upcoming event that will be held at the UF IFAS Extension Washington County office soon. Please feel free to share it with your clientele.
    The Florida Beekeeper Association annual conference will be held here along with a great trade show. To learn more about it, visit: http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/blog/2013/09/19/statewide-beekeeping-events-coming-to-washington-county-oct-31-nov-2/
    If you need any further information, call either me or Matt Orwat at 850.638.6180 or juliepd@ufl.edu mjorwat@ufl.edu.
    Keep up your great work!
    Julie P Dillard
    UF IFAS Extension
    Washington County Director

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