Wheeling Walks Training Manual

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Chapter 14:
Additional Information:

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20 WEEKS TO THE 20K:

A Program to Help Motivate Participants

Why it was developed.

Wheeling has hosted an annual 20K race for more than 25 years.  This is the most prominent athletic event in the city and was the National 20K Championship for approximately 10 years.  Since 1999, walkers have been recognized as participants.  In Spring 2002, we chose to capitalize on the energy of the event by offering a walking clinic to encourage walkers to train for and participate in the 20K.

Formerly the Ohio Valley Runners and Walkers Club conducted such a clinic.  It made sense to a number of us to pick up on the energy of a program that had previously existed and see if we could give it new life in the context of WHEELING WALKS.  Goals are important to maintain focus when one is making lifestyle change.  Dr. Reger made this point well in one of his columns (this and a letter-invitation can be seen in 14A).  Working with the energy of the 20K provided an opportunity to help some motivated people move their fitness to a higher level, all the while reminding others that they need not do that much walking to have good health. 

One hour weekly sessions were conducted at 4 pm and 7 pm (see Schedule in Appendix 14B). Each session consisted of walk related questions and answers (5 minutes), topic presentation (20-25 minutes), discussion (10 minutes) and 30 minute or more walk on the nearby rail trail.  No fees were charged, although attendance was logged.  One major worksite offered incentives to employees for participation.  In addition, the News-Register donated a block ads each week announcing the subject and speaker(s) for the week’s program that helped encourage attendance at the sessions (See Appendix 14C) .

For those unable to attend any or all of the sessions, we developed a written training schedule (see Appendix 14D).

Social support is important for adhering to behavioral goals.  This clinic provided education and social support.  Probably half of the participants did not enter the 20K, but came to the clinic on a weekly basis because they were energized by the group setting. 

There is a societal tipping point (see book by the same title, i.e., the Tipping Point):  If you can get 2-3% of the target population to participate in an activity, the activity starts to become the norm.  We had more than 350 people who participated in the 20 Weeks to the 20K. We believe that this was a contributing factor to a dimension of change in the social norm. 

The 20 Weeks to the 20K Information Packet included:

An evaluation form used for this program is provided in Appendix 14G and comments from completed evaluations are provided in Appendix 14H.


Articles of Motivation

A Collection of Articles Written for a Weekly Column in the Local Newspaper

Throughout the 8-week WHEELING WALKS campaign and, intermittently for the following year, Dr. Reger wrote a column for the Wheeling News Register on various aspects of walking.  These were designed to inform and further motivate local residents to be more physically active.

The articles provide important information on exercise and walking in language appropriate for the general reading audience.

Appendix 14I contains a sampling of these columns (those “bolded” in the list below) as they appeared in the Wheeling News Register. The originals of these articles, which were sometimes somewhat modified for the column, are provided on below. These are available for those conducting similar campaigns to use as is or to modify for their venue.

 Dr. Reger’s Sunday News-Register Columns

Title

Date in News Register

“Take Time to Start Walking”

April 22, 2001

“Make Time for Short Walk Break”

April 29, 2001

“Walk to Protect Your Health”

May 6, 2001

“Walking Can Be Made Easy”

May 13, 2001

“Support Grows for Walking”

May 20, 2001

“Walking is Exercise”

May 27, 2001

“Walking:  Part of Daily Life”

June 3, 2001

“Wheeling Walks Bids Farewell”

June 10, 2001

“Motivation”

September 9, 2001

“Walking Can Help With Stress”

September 16, 2001

“Take a Walk to Relieve Stress”

September 23, 2001

“Fall Season Is a Great Time to Walk”

September 30, 2001

“Hearing Positive Results”

October 21, 2001

West Virginia Northern Community College Offers “Power
       of Walking”

November 4 , 2001

“Walking Spreads Over U.S.”

November 11, 2001

“Catch Your Second Wind”

November 18, 2001

“Walking:  Helping Individuals Achieve Inner Peace”

November 25, 2001

“Winter Walking Can Be Refreshing”

December 2, 2001

“Walking Helps Avoid ‘Santa Look’ “

December 9, 2001

“Walking Lifts Spirits, Heals the Human Soul”

December 16, 2001

“Resolutions Great Way to Start the New Year”

December 30, 2001

“Goals Make Walking Easier”

January 6, 2002

“Walking Clinic To Be Held"

January 27, 2002

“Walkers Prepare For 20K”

February 3, 2002

“The Buddy System Helps When Walking”

February 10, 2002

“Enthusiasm for Ogden 20K Is Powerful”

February 17, 2002

“No Activity Is More Beneficial Than Walking”

February 24, 2002

“Spring Is Good Time to Walk”

March 3, 2002

“Commit to a New Beginning”

March 10, 2002

“You Make the Choice:  Fit or Fat”

March 17,

“Diet Care Leads to Good Health”

March 27, 2002

“No Excuses For Not Walking”

March 31, 2002

“Take Walking to the Next Level”

April 7, 2002

“Americans Struggle With Weight Loss”

April 14, 2002

“No Time and No Interest”

April 21, 2002

“Grab a Bit of Activity When Able”

April 28, 2002

“Columnist Challenge:  Walk 10 Minutes Daily”

May 5, 2002

“Weekend Warriors Hit the Street”

May 12, 2002

“Walking Wake Up Call”

June 2, 2002

“A View of the Ogden 20K Classic”

June 9, 2002

“Couple Sets Walking Standard”

June 16, 2002

“Youth Obesity Is on the Rise”

June 23, 2002

 

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