Busy schedules and holiday commitments can mean increased stress. As a Get Active Kansas Champion in Barton County, I recommend one easy way to combat holiday stress: take a walk.
Even better, make your walk a social occasion and walk, bike or run for United Way on Jan. 2 at the 1st Annual Light to Unite Glow Run- Bike - Walk event. What a better way to end the holiday season than to raise money for local service agencies and have fun too. Everyone is in charge of bringing their own glow works—and that can be anything from glow sticks and necklaces to solar-powered lights. Participants will be judged for best decorations.
Events run from 5 - 8 p.m. with bikers and runners starting at Veterans Memorial Park, and walkers starting at Brit Spaugh Park. Everyone will end in Jack Kilby Square where Be Well Barton County will provide granola bar snacks and a beverage. See the city lights and raise funds for United Way of Central Kansas on Jan. 2. This event is sponsored by Be Well Barton County, the Great Bend Tribune, the City of Great Bend and United Way. Registration forms are available at their sites and throughout the community.
Research shows that a brisk walk can lower disease risks and better mood. Recent studies even show a decrease in both depression and anxiety with physical activity such as walking. You’ll think more clearly after a walk, too.
Here in Barton County, we have several great places to walk. Plan a walk at a local trail like Great Bend’s Veterans Memorial Park trail or at the Bicentennial Trail in Hoisington at lunch or between errands, or end your day with a walk around downtown Great Bend to see the beautiful holiday light displays. Walking can be a great time to have a few moments alone or it can include quality time with friends and family members.
Although walking for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week is recommended to get the most benefit, even a 5 minute walking break will do some good. For more information about fitness events in our community, check out Be Well Barton County at www.goldenbeltcf.org . To learn more about the Get Active Kansas! initiative, go to www.getactivekansas.org.
Barton County Health Department