LITTLE ROCK — From Bella Vista to Lake Village, hundreds of Arkansans will be donning their running shoes and racking up as many walking minutes as they can between Sept. 30-Nov. 24 for the fall 2013 edition of Walk Across Arkansas.

"For almost a decade, Arkansans statewide have been taking advantage of this eight-week opportunity to get into the habit of daily exercise, or reinforce the good habits they’ve learned," said LaVona Traywick, associate professor-gerontology for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Participating is easy: Collect a team of between two to 10 people, choose a captain, a team name, find a stopwatch and good walking shoes and set a personal goal and track your progress.

This past spring, nearly 2,000 people from 27 counties took part in Walk Across Arkansas. They walked more than 1.6 million minutes, which translates into an estimated 80,009 miles — enough to go around the world more than three times.

"Those who took part saw a double benefit. Not only did they improve their fitness, but also chalked up an estimated $160,019 in healthcare costs," Traywick said. "That’s a savings for all of us."

She said that 82 percent of WAA participants achieved or exceeded the 150 minutes a week exercise recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. More than half of that 82 percent recorded more than 300 minutes of exercise per week.

To sign up for Walk Across Arkansas go online to or click on the WAA logo at For information, contact your county extension office.