Challenge accepted: 100 miles in 100 days

Provided Photo
Come Alive Outside 100 Miles in 100 Days Challenge kickoff event held June 16 at the Rutland Regional Medical Center walking loop.

Jaya Davis

We are off and walking. People are participating from all areas of the county, from Brandon to Wallingford, Clarendon to Wells, Danby to West Rutland. We are even joined by a few people in Burlington and surrounding towns in New York.

The challenge started June 16 with a kick-off event where over 100 people came together and walked that first mile. It was a ton of fun to walk together as a community, enjoy some local apples and cheese, and celebrate the challenge!

We have 500 Rutland County residents participating in this year’s challenge! It might be the biggest team yet! Thank you to everyone who was able to spread the word about the challenge and get our community signed up and walking. This challenge wouldn’t be a success without your help and participation!

One thing to remember during this year’s challenge is that you are not walking alone. I like to think we are all accountable to each other. If one day you just don’t feel like walking and need some motivation, think about the others who are out there walking their mile. It helps to stay accountable to others as you work towards your goal of 100 miles.

There are so many great reasons to walk. Do you walk so your dog can get outside? Do you walk with your grandson to set a good example? Do you walk to lose weight or relieve stress? Think of the best reason for you and use that as motivation to keep you going.

According to the American Public Health Association, over 100 million Americans currently suffer from chronic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes), and these conditions are associated with sedentary behavior. Why can Americans not have an active day? Often people are busy with work and tired when they get home, or maybe they have two or three jobs and just don’t have enough hours in the day. Some feel their neighborhood isn’t safe to walk around in, while others would rather stay home and watch their favorite TV show. There are millions of reasons why people do not get enough physical activity. Let’s try and think of the reason why you want to get some physical activity and use that to keep moving through the 100 days challenge.

A study from the University of Michigan showed that “walking outside is strongly linked to lowered depression and stress levels. Being outdoors allows you more flexibility, more versatility, because it automatically gives you a change of pace and environment.” Another study in the Journal of Aging and Health showed that “spending time outdoors every day can help older people function better in their lives.” Other great reasons to walk include:

• Improved heart health

• Reduced arthritis pain

• Better management of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes

• Strengthen muscles and bones

• Reduced excess weight

With the nicer summer weather, it is a great time to get outside and walk those miles. Check out the great parks and trails Vermont has to offer. A few fun places to walk include:

• Northeast Garden walking loop, off of Woodstock Avenue in Rutland, ½ mile around

• Patch’s Pond Loop, off of Field Avenue in Rutland, ½ mile around

• Endless Brook in Poultney with views of Lake St. Catherine, several miles long

• Castleton University, many trails behind campus

• D&H Rail Trail, you can enter in various towns such as Poultney, Castleton, Pawlet and Rupert

I know there are so many more trails and parks to highlight. If you want to share any that you love, please do so I can share with others. Email me:

So think of all the great reasons in your life to walk those miles and remember you are staying accountable to 499 others who are walking as well. Enjoy your walks.