The following article was submitted by Mary Parker Draper, Smith County Extension Agent: 

Ready, Set, Walk! According to Harvard Health, walking improves cardiac risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness and inflammation, and mental stress. Walking and other moderate exercise programs also help protect against dementia, depression, colon cancer, and lowers death rates. Walking has other benefits that one may not as readily think of, such as it counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes, it helps lessen a sweet tooth, and boosts immune function. 

The University of Tennessee Extension, Smith County is partnering with the Smith County Health Department to offer Walk Across Tennessee. 

Walk Across Tennessee is a program that persuades and motivates people of all ages to make that most important change . . . to get started. It is a program that is simple and safe. All you need is a team of eight people and a desire to get moving.

Teams do not walk or bike together, although they may if they want. Teams simply pool their mileage each week to work towards the chosen destination on a map that will be posted at the Smith County Chamber of Commerce. 

So, dust off your walking shoes and prepare to join us in this eight-week journey “across Tennessee” from April 1 through May 27, 2019. 

There is no cost to participate. 

Prizes will be awarded throughout the competition, and the teams with the most miles will be awarded. Call the extension office at 615-735-2900 to register your team by Monday, March 25, 2019. You can also fill out and individual registration form online at https://tiny.utk.edu/WATIndvReg. Team captains must also register teams at https://tiny.utk.edu/WATTeamReg. 

To learn more about the Walk Across Tennessee program, click here.