Walk Kansas 2021

Berny Unruh, K-State Extension
Berny Unruh

Spring is just around the corner and the Walk Kansas registration is open. Living a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean changing everything at once. It’s about understanding lifestyle choices you make each day and improving these habits one step at a time.

In Walk Kansas, participants are encouraged to form teams of six, with one serving as captain. Team members record their own activity – walking, bicycling or other activity – online weekly. For the first time this year, a pilot program allows participants to sign up individually rather than as part of team if they choose. The program this year starts on March 28th and finishes up on May 22nd.

Though teams and individuals don’t actually walk across the state, the goal is to walk in their own neighborhoods or communities an equivalent distance to walking across Kansas. Plus, they’ll learn virtually about the state along the way. Each team (or individual) chooses one of three challenges at the outset, each with different goals.

Challenge 1, for example, sets a minimum guideline of 30 minutes of exercise five days a week and takes a team on a virtual tour of the 8 Wonders of Kansas. Challenges 2 and 3 increase the goals set.  Those who sign up for the individual pilot program will walk (virtually) the Purple Power Trail, which begins on the Kansas State University campus. The individual sets a personal goal to determine how far along they will go during the eight weeks.

How can you join Walk Kansas in 2021?

Recruit or join a team (6 people, with one person designated as the captain).

Registration is online at www.walkkansas.org Cost to participate is $10 per person and this will be paid at the Cottonwood Extension Office – Hays, 601 Main Street. State employees who participate can earn Health Quest credits and their fee is waived. A Walk Kansas t-shirt and other apparel is available for an additional cost and this year your shirt will be mailed directly to you.

The program includes access to the online tracker, a weekly newsletter, program resources, and some local activities.

To participate, each person logs minutes of activity and reports daily/weekly. Cups of fruits/vegetables and water consumption can also be tracked.

Anyone, young or old, can participate in Walk Kansas! Technology allows participants to stay connected even if they don’t live close by. Teams can include co-workers, family members, neighbors, school classmates, members of civic or community organizations, or faith-based group. The team concept is important so team members must agree to support and encourage one another. 

If you have questions, please give Theresa or Berny a call at the Extension Office at 785-628-9430.

Berny Unruh is the Family & Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood District. You may reach her at: (785)628-9430 or bunruh@ksu.edu