ATHENS — More than 3,000 Georgians exercised their way across the state this spring. The miles were logged by participants in the Walk Georgia program, which challenged Georgians to engage in physical activity and log their progress. Registration for the fall program ended Sept. 14, and the program will run until Nov. 1.
Walk Georgia participants reported 550,803 miles of activity in the program's debut session. Statewide, the program attracted 3,046 participants, made up of both teams and individuals.
The goal was to help increase physical activity in a way that involved the whole community. Participants formed teams with friends, families and co-workers and challenged each other to get fit. Charting a virtual course through the Georgia Mountains or down to the coast, participants traveled across Georgia by logging their activity online.
"Friends and family challenged each other and used the program as an anchor," said Sidney Law, agricultural and natural resources agent and county coordinator for Washington County. "People who joined a team with their co-workers made it a group event and really increased their bond and morale."
Participants found ways to keep the whole community motivated and involved. Joann Milam, program administrator for Sandersville, wrote a Walk Georgia spotlight for the local newspaper. Her column highlighted teams and individuals each week.
"The program really motivated people and made them accountable if they got off track," Milam said. "Even if people weren't motivated at first, the program got them hooked."