Health for Every Body

Health for Every Body

Small steps - that's the idea of the Health for Every Body campaign that begins on October 1 for Washington County residents. Health for Every Body endorses the idea that regardless of age, size, shape, gender, and race, people can take small steps to improve their health and well being.
The beginning campaign (Health for Every Body Challenge) focuses on three goals: Eat Smart, Move More, and Drink to your Health. The goal is to eat 4-cups of fruits and vegetables, exercise for 30 minutes, and drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day during the six-week challenge.
Local businesses, churches, clubs and other organizations are being asked to form challenge teams of four to ten participants to earn points for achieving goals. Teams will compete for weekly prizes and a final grand prize package. Team captains will report their average points each week for the six-week period that will end November 11.
A kick-off event is being held at Healthy Kids Day at the Hagerstown YMCA on Saturday, September 29th. A closing event is set for Saturday, November 17 at the Valley Mall with speakers, activities, and recognition of the winning teams. This will also launch the second part of the campaign, a series of educational programs that will continue through the winter months. A schedule listing events and challenge registration information is posted at www.healthywashcomd.com
The local campaign with an emphasis on prevention addresses rising obesity and obesity-related health problems among area residents, according to Washington County Hospital's Becki Weir, who heads the Nutrition and Physical Activity (NAPA) Partnership. Statistics from the American Obesity Association show that Nationwide, an estimated 60 million Americans are obese, with an estimated 300,000 deaths each year attributed to problems of overweight and obesity. In Washington County, 60% of adults are classified as overweight or obese (Maryland BRFSS data). Healthy eating and physical activity are well-recognized pillars of wellness. Healthy lifestyle behaviors can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers and osteoporosis. Secondary benefits include feeling and looking better and improved sleep.
The Nutrition and Physical Activity (NAPA) Partnership began meeting in October 2006 to formulate a campaign for Washington County based on a similar effort implemented by the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service. Representatives from the local hospital, health department, other health and fitness agencies, area businesses, and private citizens have brought a wealth of resources and experience to the effort.
For more information on the Health for Every Body Challenge or to join the Nutrition and Physical Activity Partnership of Washington County (NAPA) please call, 301-790-8626 or 301-733-8141.