Dodge County Celebrates National Walking Day
WDS Walking Moai Teams: Back Left to Right: Joeli De Young, Cindy Korallis, Jennifer Hauschild, Rhonda Harder, Sasha Fedorko Front Left to Right: Jaimie Kok, Ali Roth, Rae Drews, Tammy Van Erem, Angie Biel – photo submitted
By: JANELLE WIEBELHAUS-FINGER
Engagement Lead Blue Zones Project
Despite Mother Nature’s winter throwback on Wednesday, many people got out to celebrate National Walking Day. Traditionally celebrated on the first Wednesday of April, National Walking Day was started by the American Heart Association to bring awareness to the health benefits of walking 30 minutes a day. Blue Zones Project, a community-led well-being initiative in Dodge County, is designed to make healthy choices easier through improvements to a city’s environment, policies, and social networks. Some of these initiatives were highlighted on Wednesday with organizations across Dodge County celebrating National Walking Day.
Washington Elementary in Beaver Dam used National Walking Day as the perfect opportunity to launch its inaugural Walking School Bus. A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. Students from Washington Elementary met with adult volunteer chaperones on Wednesday at a designated location and walked to school along a pedestrian path and sidewalk. The school will continue this weekly Walking School Bus through mid-May. Studies have shown that children who walk to school are more alert and ready to learn when they arrive. Participating in a Walking School Bus also teaches children to be responsible pedestrians and develops lifelong fitness habits.
Local businesses also celebrated National Walking Day. In partnership with Blue Zones Project, Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc., Dodge County worksites, and WDS Construction launched Walking Moais. Pronounced moh-eye, moai walking teams are groups of people who walk together at least once a week for 10 weeks. Walking Moais that launched Wednesday from these three worksites are participating in a friendly competition in which one Moai(r) that completes the 10-week challenge will receive a grand prize from Blue Zones Project.
Many others got out to walk in the community as well including Walking Moai groups that starting walking together last April following a Walking Moai launch. Walking Moai launch events are a great way to meet new people in your community and they are also a way to add more steps to your day. To learn more and to find an upcoming Walking Moai launch event near you, visit the Blue Zones Project website www.dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com<http://www.dodgecounty.bluezonesproject.com> or call (920) 212-8511. You can also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com> with questions.