Health department urges Kentuckians to walk regularly; state ranks high in obesity, low in physical activity

With summer here, the state health department is urging Kentuckians to adopt a regular walking schedule to connect
with friends and neighbors and improve health and fitness in a state that ranks high in obesity and low in physical activity.

is the perfect time to renew your commitment to get outdoors and take a walk,”
Health Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield, said in a news release. “We all know walking is healthy,
but it’s also fun, relaxing, and a great way to connect with others. You can
invite a friend or loved one out for a nightly walk after dinner, take care of
weekend errands on foot, or invite neighbors or co-workers to start a regular
walking group. The more you walk, the more you’ll connect and be part of
building a stronger, healthier community.”

In Kentucky, 31.3 percent of adults are obese. “Obesity
is linked to multiple chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and
stroke – and is one of the major
chronic conditions affecting the health of Kentuckians,” said Elaine Russell, the Department for Public Health‘s obesity-prevention coordinator. “Regular walking could greatly reduce
our state’s obesity burden.”

Russell’s program and the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky have created a guide for obesity
prevention and health policy for Kentucky communities, at ). Kentucky is one of four states that will get technical assistance from America Walks to improve walkable community design, such
as complete streets, lower traffic speeds, livable communities and economic

“We’re also working directly with
communities and funding projects through a public health grant program to help
cities and towns across Kentucky develop pedestrian plans,” Russell said. The department selected 11 communities for funding to start work on a pedestrian plan.

“We’re very excited about
recent developments in obesity prevention and increasing physical activity in
the commonwealth,” Russell said. “We hope everyone will not only become more
physically active, but take some time to learn more about our vision and support
our communities in their work to become more active, healthier places to live,
work and play.”

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