D. Gary Davis
Let’s Get Moving
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta says people who walk 150 minutes a week or about 21 minutes a day, 7 days a week, can reduce their health risks of early death, heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, colon and breast cancer. Walking increases your life span, improves your mental outlook and relieves depression. There’s no better place to enjoy these health benefits than in the great outdoors on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway.
The human body is an engineering marvel which has its own built-in mechanism to take us across the room or across town. We were made to move. Of course we carry our own weight as we walk which produces a variety of health benefits. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day and at your own pace. You can walk without worrying about some of the risks associated with more vigorous forms of exercise. It is also a great activity for people who are overweight, elderly or those who haven’t exercised in a long time.
The experts say most people take a fraction of the recommended 10,000 steps per day. Walking the Greenway can greatly boost your percentage. The average person will take between 2,000 and 2,500 steps while walking a mile. Walking just 2 miles a day on the Greenway, coupled with your regular daily activity, could put you very close to the goal. The added benefit is a much healthier body.
Health is wealth, and taking the time to invest in exercise and proper diet is like putting money in the bank. No government or public agency can do those things for us. Each individual must shoulder that responsibility. It’s encouraging to know that many local citizens take that responsibility seriously. This is evidenced by the large number of people using the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway each day.
The Greenway not only provides opportunities for physical activity to improve fitness and mental health but also preserves and restores our open spaces and makes the community more livable. Since its inception just over 11 years ago, the Greenway has become a magnet for those who want to enjoy the outdoors and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Medical researchers say physical inactivity is one of the top ten leading causes of death worldwide. Their figures show more than 70 percent of all adult Americans lead sedentary lifestyles. As a result we spend more than $2.5 trillion a year on medical care. About 80% of that figure is spent on treating chronic conditions that can be prevented or treated by regular walking.
A sedentary lifestyle is often the gateway to obesity. The CDC says more than 35% of U.S. adults are obese. By the year 2030 that number is estimated to reach 50%. Today, more than 17% of American children between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese. This will result in millions of new cases of diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and other serious medical conditions. However, the simple exercise of walking can greatly increase your chance of enjoying good health.
So let’s get moving! The fall is a great time to be outdoors and enjoy the changing colors while improving your health. The 4 mile long Greenway is now completely connected with the recent opening of phase five through Tinsley Park. It now stretches from Willow Street downtown to Mohawk Drive behind Home Depot. The long-term vision of the greenway is to begin in Cleveland at the Village Green office complex and shopping center at Inman and Keith Streets and follow Mouse Creek to the Hiwassee River in Charleston.
The Greenway is a work in progress and an ideal place to enjoy family and friends while improving your health. It is one of the many reasons I like to say… "Bradley County is Tennessee at its best.”