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Time to Shape Up

Good news.
   It turns out we are not only an exceedingly overweight country, but now also an increasingly lazy one as well.
   Some may infer these consequences to go hand in hand.
   These people can pat themselves on the back for being absolutely correct.
   The National Parks and Recreation Association estimates that 60 percent of U.S adults do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits, and, even more astounding, that almost 1/3 (30 percent) of our adult population live completely sedentary lives.
   This inactivity is taking its toll on our government as, according to Parks and Rec., it had to dole out $117 billion to battle obesity in the year 2000 alone.
   Thankfully, however, steps are being taken to eliminate this national burden - and they trickle down to the local level.
   On March 1, the Crook County Parks and Recreation Department will kick off its initial involvement in Shape Up Across Oregon.
   The state-wide fitness motivation program challenges participants to be active enough to earn 420 miles - the length, as the crow flies, of the state of Oregon.
   For every hour of exercise a person completes, they compile 30 miles. It breaks down so that 30 minutes a day, the minimum daily amount the NPRA recommends to stay healthy, will get one across the state.
   This is Crook County's first year participating in the program and Karen Bee, CCPRD's Recreation Coordinator, has high hopes.
   "I think it's going to be a lot of fun," she said. "A lot of people don't think they have time or don't put a lot of importance on their health. Hopefully this will change some minds."
   The program will hold its initial meeting at the swimming pool bathhouse at 6 p.m. They will decide then how often they will meet the rest of the month. For $15, participants will receive a t-shirt and a map to mark their progress.
   It is open to all ages and Bee encourages all abilities - even those feeling daunted by the daily goal - to come out and give it a try.
   "Just getting in 15 minutes a day is better than doing nothing," said Bee. "It will get you up and moving and then maybe next year they can strive to make it all the way."
   Miles can be earned by biking, hiking and or even playing a round of golf.
   For more information contact Parks and Recreation at 447-1209.
   Or better yet, walk on over.
   It could be your first step towards a healthy lifestyle.