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5K run/walk raises awareness for physical activity

By By Chris Cole
Published On: Oct 12 2013 07:53:19 PM CDT

Most 5K runs are meant to raise money, but the Chamber Wellness program organized a 5K walk/run Saturday to raise awareness.

POCATELLO, Idaho -

Most 5K runs are meant to raise money, but the Chamber Wellness program organized a 5K walk/run Saturday to raise awareness.

Holly Sierra, community health coordinator for the Portneuf Health Care Foundation, said physical activity is a great way to reduce your risk of heart disease, arthritis and many other diseases.

"It keeps your weight under control, there's research showing it prevents diabetes, improves mental health, mental well-being, cardiovascular health,” Sierra said. “There are just tons and tons of positives to physical activity.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control website, physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It also says physical activity can even reduce your risk of some cancers, like breast, lung and colon cancer.

"We think physical activity is contagious, so we really want to increase people doing it,” Sierra said. “We think that other people doing it will make better decisions and want to get out there and be active as well."

The PHCF held an 8-week challenge for businesses in the community. Businesses had their employees do their best to walk 10,000 steps a day for eight weeks. Why 10-thousand steps? It's equivalent to the recommended 30 minutes of activity per day.

While every participant kept track of their own miles, Sierra said some really got into the spirit, like their top-prize winner.

"He walked over 2 million miles over the course of 8 weeks,” she said. “He was exemplary. He walked 30,000 to 40,000 steps per day so that's 15 to 20 miles a day he was walking."

In total, all 750 people walked 25 million miles during the 8-week program. To go around earth just once is 24,000 miles.

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