RIPLEY - Earlier in the year, the Jackson County Health Department started the Moovin’ and Groovin’ Taking Steps for Life walking program. Participants were welcome to walk in groups and record of the number of steps they took each time they were out and about.

The total reached an astonishing 48,332,093 steps that were completed by the program participants.
Said Moovin’ and Groovin’ Director Wendy Crawford, “We had 647 people signed up, but only about 222 people actually followed through with the program and submitted their weekly walking logs. Over the span of the program, those who turned in logs before they left the activity totaled roughly 24,166 miles.”
Crawford stated that agencies in West Virginia are now seeing the need to bring more community programs into the rural areas.

Said the director, “There is a need for organization. Organization and accountability is what drives many individuals to enhance their physical activity. People know that exercise plays a roll in living a healthy life style. The way to make this happen is for those in the community to take ownership of their health. This sort of philosophy is why Moovin’ and Groovin’ began in the first place. The change may be small but a community that owns the change can make the largest impact.”

According to Crawford folks who were in Moovin’ and Groovin’ program began to see positive results that exercise brings.

“Two participants of the program have lost over 75 pounds of their body weight; a few have reported that their elevated blood sugar and blood pressure levels have dropped considerably,” said Crawford, “The program also brought family time back to a few families who walked together with their children as a team. There were day care centers, private business, and churches as well as senior citizens that said they benefited from walking. Its good that they had this experience and saw the benefits of exercise through walking.

Crawford announced that the top three teams were Hardman’s of Ripley who received first place with nine participants who logged 3,259,888 steps. The second place team was, Team Blue, whose 12 members logged 2,936,521 steps and third place went to the 40- member team, Cedar Lakes Go Getters, with 7,229,715 steps logged.

The exercise director finished, “Its simple, they don’t need special equipment and they don’t have to go to a gym. All they have to do is slip on their walking shoes and go.”