PITTSBURG — Less than half of Kansas adults meet minimum recommendations for physical activity and only 19 percent of adults eat enough fruits and vegetables.

These are the reasons the community is invited to take part in Walk Kansas, a team-based program which encourages healthy nutrition and physical activity, K-State Research and Extension Adult Development and Aging Extension Agent Tara Solomon-Smith said.

Another reason people should join in on the walk, Solomon-Smith said, because “physical activity prevents chronic disease and illnesses.”

To participate in the program, people will need to create a team and register online at walkkansasonline.org. The registration fee is $8 per person and there is an option for team t-shirts for an additional cost. Registration will end on March 16. The program lasts from March 18 to May 12.
Solomon-Smith said if participants cannot find teammates, the district will help find some.

Walk Kansas works by using teamwork to help “cheer” their peers on and each team has an ultimate goal of being placed in drawings, Solomon-Smith said.

The teams have three challenge options.

Option one is to “Explore the 8 Wonders of Kansas,” this requires each person to
log two and a half hours of moderate/vigorous activity per week. The “trail” is 480 miles.

The second challenge option is “Go Cross Country,” where each person logs four hours per week, which will take the team 768 miles to complete the challenge.
The last option is “Explore the Little Balkans and then head to Nicodemus!”
This requires each person to log six hours a week, a trail of 1,152 miles.

Solomon-Smith said 15 minutes of physical activity equals one Walk Kansas mile.

Each group will also track the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat.

A weekly newsletter with resources for healthy meals and other tips will be given to the teams to help them meet their goals.

Throughout the program, there will be various incentives such as a community bingo which the teams will travel to places in the community which they have not discovered on foot before, or try new recipes.

For more information on Walk Kansas visit the program’s registration website.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.