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Keeping walkers on track

After Clayton, Indiana, resident Melissa Phillips had back surgery several years ago, her doctor suggested walking to maintain her health. Phillips signed up for Get WalkIN,’ a Purdue Extension program that provides free informational — and motivational — emails.

The program has been a source of support for Phillips, who walks between 15 and 75 minutes daily year round. “Walking keeps the muscles in my back stronger, and I also feel so much better when I walk,” she says. “The emails encouraged me to keep going.”

Get WalkIN’ participants receive 16 emails — two per week the first month and one weekly for the next eight weeks. The content is based on the research of Elizabeth (Libby) Richards, Associate Professor of Nursing, and tailored for Extension audiences.

“Get WalkIN’ is a great example of putting faculty research into practice to improve individuals’ health and wellbeing,” says Stephanie Woodcox, Assistant Program Leader for Purdue Extension in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Denise Current walks in her town of Veedersburg on busy days, or she may tackle a longer trail in nearby Covington when time allows. “My goal was to be active and to have a workout schedule that was consistent,” she says.

As she walks in the early mornings, Current sometimes thinks about the content of her Get WalkIN’ emails, from increasing her workouts to celebrating milestones.

Extension educators in counties across Indiana have offered Get WalkIN’ since 2016, but the program proved especially valuable this year as walkers sought structure and inspiration when gyms and parks closed due to COVID-19.

Get WalkIN’ was presented 26 times during the 2019–2020 programming year, reaching 682 individuals.

 

See how Extension served your Indiana community in the 2020 Purdue Extension Impact Report: extension.purdue.edu/annualreport/.

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