Linda Kegler's blood pressure was creeping up, and she knew she needed to lose a few pounds. Her feet ached and she would often tire out during her shift as a custodian.
So when the Holbrook resident heard about the Walk Across Arizona fitness challenge, she decided to give the program a try.
This UACE fitness challenge encourages Arizonans to join teams and log their miles of walking and activity during an 8-week period. Participants are also encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables.
The Walk Across Arizona program inspired Kegler to make exercise a part of her daily life. Since starting the program three years ago, she has lost more than 30 pounds, her blood pressure has dropped and she feels great.
"I don't go out for fast food anymore," said Kegler, who often walks three times a day. "My feet don't hurt and I don't get tired at work. I am eating more greens and fruit and I have more energy."
In 2011, Kegler logged the most miles in Navajo County Cooperative Extension’s Walk Across Arizona challenge, at 488 miles.
The goal of Walk Across Arizona is to encourage adults and children to take part in activities that promote a healthy lifestyle, said Beverly Goodnight of Navajo County Cooperative Extension.
"Walking makes you feel good and when you walk as a team, you feel more a part of the community," Goodnight said.