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Mayor's Walking Challenge Sets 25-Mile Goal for October

Healthy Huntsville FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2014
(Huntsville, AL) - The Healthy Huntsville team is pleased to announce the Mayor's Walking Challenge for the month of October.

The goal is for citizens to walk at least 25 miles from Oct. 1st to the 31st. To encourage participation, Mayor Battle will host a weekly 30-minute community walk each Wednesday, from noon to 12:30 p.m., at various locations around the city. Accompanying the Mayor will be City Department heads, City Councilmembers and community leaders.

"Walking is one of the easiest and least expensive things you can do for your health," said Mayor Battle. "Our bodies are meant to move, and regular walking can help delay or prevent many of the complaints of aging, including decreased mobility and those annoying aches and pains."

The Healthy Huntsville team is hoping for city-wide participation and is challenging local businesses to hold their own 30 minute walks for employees in October. By making walking a fun and regular habit during the workweek, Huntsville can help fight obesity and increase wellness in the community.

It's easy to participate! Thanks to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, citizens may visit WalkingWorks.com from Sept. 23 - Oct. 15 and register for the Healthy Huntsville Mayor's Walking Challenge. From there, walkers can sign up, track their mileage and be eligible for prizes if they complete or exceed the 25-mile challenge.

"We are excited to partner with Mayor Battle and Healthy Huntsville to inspire everyone to start a daily walking routine with their coworkers and friends during the Mayor's Walking Challenge next month," said Terry Kellogg, President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. "Blue Cross is committed to workplace wellness, and walking every day can help build a healthier Huntsville and a healthier Alabama, which will lead to lower healthcare costs."

Healthy Huntsville Scheduled Walks with Mayor Battle
Noon - 12:30 p.m.

Register to participate at www.walkingworks.com - Registration Instructions

October 1 ADTRAN campus walk with Gary Bolton and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama President and CEO Terry Kellogg
October 8 Huntsville Hospital campus walk with CEO David Spillers
October 15 A & M University track walk with President Dr. Andrew Hugine
October 22 HudsonAlpha's McMillian Park
October 29 John Hunt Park. On this final Mayor's walk, we will be accompanied by adoptable dogs from Animal Services.

Suggested walking trails and additional walking opportunities will be publicized throughout the month of October at
ourvalleyevents.com/healthy-huntsville.

"Healthcare is more than taking care of the sick and injured," said David Spillers, CEO of Huntsville Hospital. "It's also promoting wellness by providing opportunities for people to develop healthy lifestyles. This Walking Challenge is a simple but effective way to build a healthy habit. Huntsville Hospital is pleased to be a part of this effort."

The Healthy Huntsville Initiative, now in its third year, is a community wellness partnership sponsored by the City of Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, HudsonAlpha, Huntsville City Schools, and the Madison County Public Health Department.

Whether you walk on your own, in a group, or join one of the many community walks, remember that every step counts. Regular physical activity has been shown to help control weight and lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and depression. Even better, it might just help you live longer.

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For more information, please contact:

Kelly C. Schrimsher
Director of Communications
City of Huntsville
256-427-5006
kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov

Cheryl Davis
Director, Marketing & Physician Relations
Huntsville Hospital
256-265-8317
cheryl.davis@hhsys.org



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