Events like Lansing’s Winter Warm-Up help build healthier communities

We really do live among some amazing people here in Michigan, I can vouch for that! People who promote increasing daily physical activity levels and better nutrition are popping up all over the place … it’s fantastic!

For instance -Lansing area Community Partners in Health invites everyone in mid-Michigan to participate in the 10th Annual  Winter Warm-Up, one of the many programs that I have the honor to be a part of. The Winter Warm-Up is an eight-week-long program that encourages residents from nine mid-Michigan cities and townships to compete in the Blues Community Challenge.

Each participant keeps track of their personal daily activity and logs it weekly. Participants of any age and ability are encouraged to join as long as they are willing to increase their current level of daily physical activity; basically the goal is to go above and beyond their “normal” activity level. All kinds of exercise can be counted in the challenge, but many participants use walking as the exercise of choice.

Over 700 participants have signed up for this year’s challenge. Participants have logged nearly 13,000 miles of activity to date. These individuals don’t let the cold weather stop them from daily physical activity — no way! Some say that it helps when group members hold them accountable for their exercise commitments, proving once again that an exercise buddy is a vital component when trying to accomplish a workout goal.

Some of the participants I met during a recent presentation that I gave at the Capital Area District Library were extremely excited about the challenge… and I can’t say I blame them. The enthusiasm and elevated energy levels that have resulted from their increased daily activity is very apparent; they are truly loving it!

The Blues Community Challenge will conclude at the end of March. I am very excited to attend the Winter Warm-Up celebration on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m.-noon at the Lansing Mall. I can’t wait to discover the total miles logged by these nine cities and townships for 2013. And I get the chance to speak with these new friends of mine — concerned Michigan residents who are committed to form healthier communities. Yay!

This is just one of many programs in Michigan that are dedicated to building a healthier community. They deserve a “thumbs up” in my book.

Do you participate in a health-improvement program in your community?

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