Johnson County Health Department hosts first walk of “Fall into Fitness” event

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) – Despite some heavy fog, officials with the Johnson County Health Department hosted their first out of four walks as part of their “Fall into Fitness” initiative.

The event, made possible through a grant provided by the Marshall University School of Medicine, gave people the opportunity to walk the Kiwanis Trail near the Mountain HomePlace. Health Educator Mary Beth Castle said that they wanted to promote good health with physical activity, showing awareness for those who may be prediabetic.

“Unfortunately, in the area that we live in, we are clumped in with what’s called The Big Sandy Region,” Castle said. “We have a very high instance of diabetes in our area.”

Castle said that their numbers have been affected by the pandemic, seeing more than 40 participants this year compared to pre-pandemic numbers of more than 100.

“Still, this gives the people an opportunity to get out,” Castle said. “To find out about prediabetes and hopefully we can get them into a routine of being more active, getting out and walking. I say all the time, the good thing about walking…it’s free.”

Castle said that they were using the event to highlight the department’s free diabetes prevention program.

“It is a yearlong program where we ask people to try to lose anywhere between five and seven percent of their body weight,” Castle said. “It’s not a huge weight loss, it can be ten pounds, it can be 50, it can be 20.”

This left one Johnson County resident happy to come out bright and early for an important cause.

“I think the more people know about diabetes, maybe we can find a cure for diabetes,” Event Participant Marietta Music said. “Also, it promotes good health.”

Music said that it was a cause that hit close to home.

“I have relatives that have diabetes,” Music said. “So, I know how hard it is to deal with this.”

Castle said that during the event they offered free A1C screenings through Big Sandy Health Care.

“If they have a 5.7 to a 6.4 reading on their A1C, then they are eligible for our free diabetes prevention program at our local health department at the Johnson County Health Department,” Castle said.

Castle said that their next walk is being held at the Dawkins Trail, August 28th at 8:30 a.m. and several prizes are being given away during the walks.

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