A variety of activities will take place in Klukwan, Juneau, Angoon, Kake, Sitka and Klawock. The events are part of the national "Just Move It" campaign to promote healthy physical activity for Alaska Natives and American Indians. Research shows even small amounts of physical activity can make a big difference in a person's health.
"My elders often remind me that what we are doing is for our children and grandchildren," said Joanne Elsie (Kaawjeil) Spud, a SEARHC Behavioral Health Prevention Specialist based in Klukwan who is coordinating the local event in that community. "Today I take responsibility for my inactive lifestyle and take this step for my children and grandchildren. If I can be more active, I can be an example for them. If I stumble along the way, I will get up and try again because I want them to speak of heart disease, diabetes and other diseases as something that 'used to' plague Alaska Natives and Native Americans."
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Oct. 7 released its first set of physical activity guidelines for Americans, http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/. The report said the physical activity can come from a variety of activity types and people don't have to feel tied to a gym, so long as they walk, bike, swim, garden, dance, or find other ways to be active. According to the guidelines, adults should try to get 30 minutes of physical activity a day at least five days a week, and children ages 6-18 should try to get an hour of physical activity a day. Activity can take place in blocks lasting at least 10 minutes each.
Here are brief descriptions and contact information for each "Just Move It" event. All of these events are free and open to the public.
Angoon: Angoon Walking For Diabetes, meet at 1 p.m. at the Angoon City Shop, contact Doreen McCluskey at 788-4637 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juneau: Twin Lakes Walk, meet at 10-11:30 a.m. at the Twin Lakes playground pavilion, contact Christy Wallace at 364-4457 or email@example.com.
Kake: "Just Move It" and Honoring Our Veterans Walk, meet at 11 a.m. at the SEARHC Health Promotion Building in Kake, contact Georgie Reese at 785-3260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Klawock: Seven-mile Totem to Totem Trail Walk from Klawock to Craig, meet from 10 a.m. to noon at Klawock Totem Park, contact Brenda Isaacs at 755-4983 or email@example.com.
Klukwan: Chilkat Champions, participants meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Klukwan ANS Hall to begin tracking their activity for the day, then meet again at 7 p.m. to share their experiences, contact Joanne Spud at 767-5592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sitka: Totem Park Walk, meet from 10 a.m. to noon at Sitka National Historical Park, contact Maybelle Filler at 966-8937 or email@example.com or Renae Mathson at 966-8797 or firstname.lastname@example.org.