MSU Extension Walk

MSU Extension Agent Katelyn Andersen and MSU Nursing Students Sydnie LaValley and Amanda Bosse hold a few of the prizes and consult the walking maps for the walking competition.

Warmer days appear to be in the forecast and hopefully people think about increasing their physical activity outside.

May 1 marks the start of the Second Annual Bike, Walk, Roll & Win, which is an incentive program through MSU Extension in Ravalli County. During the months of May and June 2017, community members selected routes on the Hamilton Walking Map to explore. In two short months, 92 participants logged over 490 routes, totaling more than 1,330 miles collectively.

This year, the Hamilton Walking Map and the newly created Stevensville Walking Map will be used to designate the routes for this program. The Stevensville Walking Map was released in December 2017.

“In the last 18 months, I have had the pleasure of working with eight MSU nursing students to help create tools, like the walking map and the incentive program. These tools encourage people who live and work in our community, to easily incorporate physical activity in their everyday life,” says Katelyn Andersen, MSU Extension Agent for Ravalli County. “Each semester we build upon the skills from the previous semester to grow and enhance the program.”

This semester, the two nursing students, Amanda Bosse and Sydnie LaValley, were given the task of securing prizes for the Second Annual Bike, Walk, Roll & Win with the challenge of incorporating the new Stevensville Walking Map.

Bike, Walk, Roll & Win allows any adult, regardless of residency, to log their routes online for prizes from May 1 through June 27. Every time a person walks one of the routes on the Stevensville Walking Map or the Hamilton Walking Map, they can enter their name into the drawing. The program is free for the public due to a grant from a private donor.

Complete a form each time you complete a route. Every route you walk equals one entry for the prize drawing. Record it at http://www.msuextension.org/ravalli/walking.html or in person at the MSU Extension Office.

“At first, were unsure how this program fit into the field of nursing,” LaValley said. “Once we starting collaborating with MSU Extension, we saw how public health nurses can play an integral role in supporting a health-focused program like this.”

This year, the program added “bike and roll” to promote all types of physical activity. The businesses in the community responded positively.

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“All the businesses were generous and kind,” Bosse said. “Many businesses knew about the incentive program before we shared it with them because they remembered it from last year. They were supportive and wanted to be a part of something for the greater good for their community.”

In addition to better health, the big prizes include a Scott Burke 10’6 Inflatable Paddleboard from Bob Ward’s; a scenic Bitterroot River float trip with Jenny West from Go West Outfitter;, FitBit Blaze watch from PayneWest Insurance; a Mammoth 15L cooler from Stevensville Physical Therapy; an IHAC punch card and swag bag from Iron Horse Gym; One Hour Massage from Rosewood Wellness Center; $65 bike tune up from Valley Bicycle & Ski; $50 gift card from Ford’s Department Store; Yeti Rambler 36 oz bottle from Victor Dental; Ravalli County Fair admission tickets for two adults and two kids; assorted book gift basket from Chapter One Bookstore; $30 gift certificate from Rainbow’s End Natural Foods, dog lover goodie basket from Wild About Pets; coffee gift cards from Morning Star Caffeine and Cuisine; one month pass from Bitterroot Aquatic Center; $15 gift card from Florence Coffee; RCKN IT Montana trucker hat from RCKN IT!; and "What the Herd Heard" from Poesy Pond Publications.

Each of these businesses have maps and information about the program.

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The program is based on the honor system and participants register online or by visiting the MSU Extension Office to complete a brief questionnaire, which includes the name, address, phone number, the route walked and any health changes.

Andersen stressed that the questionnaire helps collect data and strengthen the need for primary prevention programs like Bike, Walk, Roll & Win in the community.

Last year, participants reported the following impacts: 70 percent reported improved mental health; 69 percent reported increased physical activity; 41 percent reported maintained current weight, 34 percent reported improved stamina for everyday activities, such as climbing stairs; and 14 percent reported losing weight.

“We deal with people who are sick on a daily basis,” said LaValley. “This is a way to get healthy, stay healthy and help prevent illness and chronic diseases. Starting with healthy habits is the best way to begin an overall healthy lifestyle.”

The Bike, Walk, Roll & Win program runs from May 1, at noon to June 27, at noon. Maps and fliers about the program are available at participating businesses and the MSU Extension Office, 215 S. 4th St., Ste G, Hamilton. Electronic maps of the routes are on the Bike Walk Montana website, bikewalkmontana.org and the MSU Extension website www.msuextension.org/ravalli/walking.html

This year, the celebration event culminates with a health-focused activity. The MSU Ravalli County Extension Office partnered with Get A Grip Climbing Wall to allow community members to take a trip up the climbing wall. The prize winners will be announced at their booth at the Stevensville Harvest Valley Farmers Market on Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.