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Run, bike, walk, paddle…for good health in Alabama


A campaign is challenging Alabamians to use the thousands of miles of recreational trails in the name of good health. The goal is to utilize the state’s diverse landscapes to make active living an experience. Alabama has one of the nation’s highest obesity rates and that inspired the Hundred Miles Challenge. Participants will work to be active through a hundred miles of walking, running, biking, paddling, or swimming in a year. Brian Rushing is the director of economic development initiatives at the University of Alabama. He says the Challenge will involve a media blitz and community kickoff to engage the public.

“The Hundred Alabama Challenge is a free state-wide public program that is designed to inspire all Alabamians to be active, go explore, and connect with others by getting one hundred miles of activity in each year,” said Rushing.

Participants will reach that goal through the state’s parks, nature reserves, and rivers. This public program celebrates active living and shares personal stories of connections made through exploring. Rushing says that the appreciation of the local, state, and recreational lands has increased public use by two-hundred thousand miles.

“Can find out learn more about the programs and sign up as they wish as they participate throughout the year and log their miles. They earn electronic badges for milestones that they reach and places that they visit throughout the state,” Rushing said.

Rushing says that participants can even compete against family, friends, and coworkers. Kickoff events will be held on Saturday in various locations across the state including Birmingham, Alabaster, Gulf State Park, Hoover, Jacksonville, Madison, and Sylacauga.

Ella Grossomanides is a student intern in the Alabama Public Radio newsroom.
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