Community Challenge Motivates Lansing-Area Walkers to Keep Moving

Nancy Diawara and her son, Fadio, during a Winter Warm-Up event at the Lansing Mall.

Sometimes people need motivation to exercise and stay physically active, particularly during the gray winter months. Maybe that’s why more than 2,200 people from nine Lansing-area communities have registered and are participating in the Community Partners in Health’s Winter Warm-Up and the Blues Community Challenge. So far, walkers have collectively logged more than 139,000 miles since the program kicked off in mid-January.

Participant Nancy Diawara is walking consistently. She has struggled with weight loss most of her life and says she’s done with fad diets or spending tons of money on exercise equipment that ends up collecting dust.

Diawara has a 6-year-old son and wants to stay healthy and active so she can play a role in his life. “I do much better with motivation, and Winter Warm Up motivates me to get on track with exercising on a regular basis. I want exercise to be a part of my life, like brushing my teeth. I want to train my body to enjoy it and look forward to being active,” she says.

She walks almost every day. “My goal is to praise every healthy change I make and encourage my family members to make those changes along with me,” Diawara said. “I’m making one small change at a time. I just keep telling myself that small steps equal big success.”

Fred Garrett of Grand Ledge is also an avid participant in the competition. A heart attack in 2007 changed his life. After cardio rehab, he revamped his diet and incorporated exercise into his daily life. He lost 40 pounds and now walks regularly.

“Winter Warm Up gives me the extra incentive to get up and get active,” Garrett says. “My wife and I walk together. We try to incorporate some fun into our exercise routine. The competition makes it a fun, social experience.”

You can learn more about the Winter Warm-Up here.

How do you keep yourself motivated to exercise on a regular basis?

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