In the midst of cold winter blues, citizens are encouraged to get in some exercise with Healthy U’s annual Couch to 5K program.
This year Healthy U and Running Resolutions have teamed up to present the program.
“It’s an eight-week program for all fitness levels basically taking you from being a couch potato to completing a 5K in eight weeks,” said Melissa Boeschen, community outreach coordinator at Bothwell Regional Health Center and chairperson of the Healthy Living Action Group, which coordinates Healthy U. “Depending on your goals you can be a walker, jogger or runner.”
The workouts begin March 3 with four programs to choose from: walking 5K, intermediate 5K, advanced 5K, and 10K. Each program has three workouts per week, ending with the participant being able to walk, run or jog a 5K. Participants can enter the program individually or as a team.
As participants complete their workouts each week, they are encouraged to submit them for a chance to win a weekly prize or a grand prize for completing all eight weeks.
“It’s a great way to get moving, you can encourage your friends and family to get moving with you,” Boeschen said. “The biggest thing I look forward to each time is the workplace challenges, people who sign up together to keep each other accountable, walk on their lunch break.”
The program kickoff event will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Celebration Center. Teams should have at least one teammate present. The deadline to register is March 5.
Boeschen said next week’s event will include prizes plus helpful tips for all levels of runners.
“There will be information on making sure you stay healthy and safe, information about Running Resolutions, talk about myths with running, benefits of running, how to get started, the importance of a warmup and cool down,” she said. “There is information for anyone and everyone, all fitness levels can find something interesting.”
The Couch to 5K program ends Saturday, April 27, the same day as the Bothwell Foundation’s annual Lub Dub 5K/10K. Participants aren’t required to join the Lub Dub but are encouraged to do so. Those who sign up during next week’s kickoff will receive extra race swag.
The event will also help launch the new community initiative, Healthy US. Healthy U is partnering with community organizations that offer free or low-cost events that don’t require a membership that help get the community moving. Boeschen said the idea is to get people to engage in healthier activities, whether through exercise, nutrition or education.
“That came out of our community health needs assessment (that BRHC conducts every three years), which one of our findings through that was that obesity is an issue for our community, specifically targeted at diabetes and heart disease,” Boeschen said. “So we’re trying to get more people moving in our community and will be launching our new punch card program.”
People will get a punch on their Healthy US card for attending the kickoff, for participating in Lub Dub, attending any of Running Resolutions’ weekly group runs, or taking fitness classes at Sedalia Parks and Recreation. Other events partnerships will continue to be announced. Full cards can be turned in for a chance to win quarterly prizes or grand prizes at the 2020 Healthy U Night of Inspiration.