Students encouraged to “Walk Across Texas”

Walk+Across+Texas+is+an+event+held+to+encourage+students+to+live+a+healthier+life.

Poster courtesy of WTAMU Health and Wellness Promotion and Residential Living

Walk Across Texas is an event held to encourage students to live a healthier life.

Students have the chance to put all their steps to use by participating in “Walk Across Texas”, a health encouragement walking challenge put on by WT Health and Wellness Promotion and Residential Living.

“Walk Across Texas, is an 8 week program designated to help WT students get up and move,” said Gloria Torres, PEER change agent for WT Health and Wellness Promotion.

Students are encouraged to treat this athletic event as a chance to socialize and make new friends. Participants create teams of eight and keep track of their collective steps. This can be done using a FitBit, Apple Watch, smartphone or a pedometer. Teams are pushed to collectively walk the distance across Texas, which is 832 miles.

According to Torres, the purpose of the event is “To motivate students to create relationships while getting more exercise with the opportunity to get cool products and win cool prizes.”

The top three teams with the most steps by the end of the contest on April 10th earn prizes. These include track jackets for first place, Under Armor backpacks with their names embroidered on them for second place and Hydro Flasks for third place.

“The [Residential Assistants] are promoting the Walk Across Texas with our residents. [Residential Living] has created some contests for the [Residential Assistants] and residence halls to encourage participation,” said Jeff Sulik, Senior Director of Residential Living.

Walk Across Texas began Feb. 17th and will come to an end on April 10th. WTAMU Health and Wellness Promotion and the Residential Living partnered together for this event. Students interested in joining can sign up at wtamu.edu/studentaffairs and follow the instructions provided.

According to DevelopGoodHabits.com, “Regardless of whether someone has an active and physical lifestyle or whether the normal physical activity is a short trip from the couch to the refrigerator, increasing the amount of daily walking has significant benefits for both short and long term.”

The website also lists a few benefits of walking daily:
“Low impact way to get in shape and lose weight. Walking between 7500 and 10000 steps a day is one of the keys of fitness.
Improves sleep
Decreases hypertension, reducing risks for heart attacks and strokes. Walking daily has been shown to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL).
Reduces stress
Can quickly help you improve your health when balanced with other positive habits, ​like drinking a green superfood powder.
Increases balance and endurance
Increases sexual desire and satisfaction
Slows mental decline
Improves the mood and battles the effects of depression
Gives you time to think. Daily walking can act as a form of meditation. It gives you time to mull over ideas. If you have problems at work or at home, a nice walk could help you to come up with solutions.
Reduces fatigue
Once you form the habit, it is easy to turn it into a lifestyle change. Of all the forms of fitness and exercise routines, walking has the highest compliance rate.
It can make you smarter. Daily walking can make you sharper and smarter and reduces the chances for long term mental disease because it helps to increase blood flow through the brain.”

The website also provides an 11 step process to cultivating a daily walking habit which can be viewed here.