Only 19% of Americans get the recommended amount of physical activity according to the Institute of Medicine. That fact, along with other factors, is contributing to our overall challenges with health. The good news is that the amount of physical activity that we engage in is one factor that most of us can control.

Taking that first step to incorporate activity into one’s life is sometimes challenging. Robert Sweetgall, renowned for his effective walking programs and active presentations, will be in Casper on Thursday, June 14, 2012 to share what he has learned over the years about the benefits of walking. Sweetgall will be discussing everything from health initiatives and goals, the top, most sensible, sustainable exercises, specific training programs, the use of existing trails and walking areas, the potential to start up a brand new Nordic Walking Club, nutrition, weight loss and diabetes prevention, four-seasons motivational strategies, and school and worksite wellness strategies during presentations at various interactive workshops. Attendance is free, but those planning to attend are asked to pre-register at the Casper Recreation Center, 235-8383.

While in Casper, Sweetgall’s schedule will begin early in the morning with a session entitled, Casper on the Move – Just How Much Physical Activity is Enough? /  Worksite Wellness on a Zero Budget. This workshop, built for community leaders, worksite wellness people, and others who are in a position to share and motivate will be held at Wyoming Medical Center, Support Services Building, Auditorium A & B, 1200 E. 3rd St. (beside WMC parking structure) starting at 7:15 a.m. with a light breakfast followed by the leadership seminar from 7:45 a.m. until 9 a.m. Reservations for course #16686 will be accepted at Casper Recreation or by calling 235-8383 for this session.

Walking, Physical Activity & the Meaning of Life – Ways to Add Years to Your Life & Life to Your Years will be held at the Central Wyoming Senior Services Center, 1831 E. 4th St. (beside Casper Recreation Center), from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.  This “longevity workshop” is geared for the 50+ crowd.  Reservations for this workshop, #16685, will be accepted at Casper Recreation or by calling 235-8383.

Over the noon hour, Sweetgall will present a special session, Motivation to Move – How Healthier Rotarians Can Serve a Healthier Community, to the 5 Trails Rotary Club at their weekly meeting at the Petroleum Club. Members from the Casper Rotary Club, Reveille Rotary and other community service organizations are welcome to attend.

To complete the day, Nordic Walking 101 - Building Muscle, Burning Fat in One Great Total-Body Workout will be held at Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Building, 2211 King Boulevard (next to 3 Crowns Golf Club) from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Nordic Walking 101 - Building Muscle, Burning Fat in One Great Total-Body Workout is an outdoor walking clinic; participants should dress accordingly. The second half of the evening, Motivation to Move – Five Great Activities for Reducing Weight, Stress, Cardiovascular and Diabetes Risk, and Your Rate of Aging is an indoor sit-down seminar. Space is limited to the first 150 people. Registration can be completed in person or by phone for course #16684 through Casper Recreation Center, 1801 East 4th Street, phone: 235-8383.

Following Sweetgall’s visit, CINCH is coordinating free Walks Along the Platte River Parkway to be held Monday evenings beginning at 6 p.m., June 18 through July 30. Walks are approximately 2 miles long with options to extend that distance as participants wish. Each week, the event will have a different starting point so that walkers will have traveled the entire distance of the Platte River Parkway and the Casper Rails to Trails by the end of the program. The free community walks are offered in collaboration with the Wyoming Medical Center, Wyoming Health Fairs, Wyoming Cancer Resource Services, the Community Recreation Foundation, Casper Area Transportation Coalition (CATC), Platte River Parkway Trust, Safe Kids of Central Wyoming, Central Wyoming YMCA, Well-Being of  Wyoming and the Wyoming Business Coalition on Health. For additional information, contact the Casper Recreation Division at 307-235-8383.