You already own the most effective workout equipment

Monday, January 7, 2019

Spend any amount of time channel surfing, and you’ll get plenty of advice for healthy living, usually requiring four easy payments for the latest mechanical exercise doo-dad.

Wait a couple of years, and you’ll probably be able to pick up the same piece of equipment, barely used, for pennies on the dollar at a garage sale.

Like many undertakings, simpler is better when it comes to exercise, you already own one of the most effective devices — make that two devices — for keeping healthy, your feet and legs.

Besides, what are you doing watching all that television, anyway?

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is working with a number of other Nebraska communities to encourage similar efforts through the Nebraska Walkable Communities Initiative.

“Walking is one of the simplest forms of physical activity,” says Brian Coyle, DHHS State Physical Activity Coordinator. “If we have safe and inviting places to be able to walk, ride, roll and stroll, then we can get more people up and moving.”

Through the Nebraska Walkable Communities Initiative, DHHS partners with communities to engage local leaders, develop a team-based approach to planning, hold a community summit, develop a local community-defined action plan, and solidify a leadership team in partnership with community organizations and community members to carry out the activities. Many of the activities focus on education and awareness, trail and sidewalk projects, signage projects, and policy-based initiatives such as Complete Streets policies.

Henderson completed its community summit, which focuses on local strategies to increase physical activity and health, at the end of October. Henderson is now beginning the implementation phase of the work.

Some of the other communities that have participated in the initiative include Hebron, Grand Island, Scottsbluff, Gering, Terrytown, Fairbury and Omaha, and other communities continue to implement their community action plans.

McCook has not been sitting down on the job, however.

Thanks to an initial effort by the McCook Rotary Club and continued support from the city and other organizations, our town has a wonderful walking trail, meandering along Kelley Creek, that is an effective tool in encouraging walking, running and cycling. It extends from Kelley Park to East 11th, and with a little effort one can walk all the way to Walmart, although the final stretch is designated as a city sidewalk and not an official walking trail.

The Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department organizes a free Walk to Health program every spring, the McCook YMCA offers many fitness opportunities and the Republican River Fitness Series and Community Hospital sponsor many events and incentives to get people off their couches and moving.

If walking isn’t an option for you, don’t let that keep you from being as fit as possible. Help is available for those who are physically challenged, and we urge you to seek it out.

We hope the City of McCook and other organizations will continue to make our community fitness-friendly by the expansion of paths for hiking and bicycling throughout the town.


Check out a special Health Week page on nutrition on page 7 today, and topics throughout the week.

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