Walk Across Illinois School Fitness Program

August 07, 2007

Today we have a guest entry by Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, who began the Walk Across Illinois program.  

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In less than two years, 10,000 participants in the Walk Across Illinois program, an online fitness initiative, have logged more than a million miles –- the equivalent of two round-trip journeys from the Earth to the moon!

Those numbers illustrate the popularity and accessibility of Walk Across Illinois, an interactive virtual trek from the town of Rock Island, on the Mississippi River, to Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline.

Walking is an easy and fun activity that everyone can do at their own pace. It’s also an easy way to improve your health, one step at a time.

Obesity, high blood pressure and inadequate exercise are community health problems which challenge us all. By encouraging everyone in Illinois to walk on average just one-half mile daily for a year, the Walk Across Illinois initiative can help boost the life expectancy and well-being of all Illinois residents.

In 2001, I hiked 167 miles across Illinois with my 78-year-old doctor, Dr. Quentin Young, to promote decent health care for everyone. The lessons I learned about wellness, activity, civic engagement and Illinois history had a tremendous impact on me –- and now I hope that Walk Across Illinois can bring this experience to everyone in our state.

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Now, we’re expanding the program to include specific tools and resources for teachers and school children. 

Elementary school teachers can use the Walk Across Illinois School Fitness Program to help their students develop a lifelong pursuit of physical fitness. Participating schools receive professional development training, curriculum guides, teacher and classroom incentives, and much more.

The program is open to all Illinois public and private elementary schools with 4-8th grade classrooms.

For more information on the Walk Across Illinois School Fitness program and how you can bring it to your school, please visit www.WalkAcrossIllinois.org or call 312-814-5220.