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We Started, We Walked, We Ran. We Did It!

Spring 2014 goal event rocogroup-2048 v2RoCo Fit Spring Season DID IT! RoCo Fit ran, walked, and wagged in their goal 5k Friday, the 2nd Annual Run Walk Wag 5k at Claremore Lake. Ten weeks ago, over 370 people registered for the free fitness training spring session of RoCo Fit. Most participants completing 70% of the workouts participated in their goal event. This program has completed its 7th season of free training to the public and is registering now for its 8th season, Summer Session 2014.

Many volunteers give their time selflessly to improve the health of Rogers County by mentoring walkers and runners of all levels of fitness. The levels consist of right off the couch to 5k, 10k, ½ marathon, and marathons, even a few longer distance trail runners/walkers. Professionals in the community donate their expertise and time to assist in educating the participants on various benefits and prevention topics; cross training, core fitness/strength, self-defense, injury prevention, and nutrition/weight-loss. Still other businesses, agencies, and individuals assist with marketing, advertising, incentives, etc.

This program is a community-wide effort and part of the Healthy Community Partnership in collaboration with the Rogers County Health Department. Oklahoma flagship goal of reducing obesity is one focus area, but many other benefits are expressed by participants and mentors in each season’s participant/mentor testimonials, some of which are below:

“Having been a widow for less than a year, it has been beneficial both physically and mentally to participate in RoCo Fit. Dealing with a low grade depression, it has been beneficial to have an ‘appointment’ to make myself get out to walk and I get to visit with several people I have known in the past…. I look forward to continuing this program! “

“RoCo Fit is a wonderful program. I look forward to every Tuesday and Thursday and am excited to tackle the challenge of that night. I started RoCo last summer as a walker and started this spring as a runner. I have lost weight and have improved my health tremendously…! All of the mentors are so encouraging and supportive and make you feel so inspired. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from listening to the seasoned runners and the mentors that have helped me.”

“I was so sad and depressed and had given up on myself of ever being able to get out and do any kind of exercise. I had not done much in the way of physical fitness in the last 2 years. Since the program began 8 weeks ago I have lost 12 lbs and am able to keep up with the group. I drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and now watch my diet. I was always afraid that if I had car trouble that I would not be able to walk more a few blocks to get help, now I know I could walk 3 miles plus! I would never have done this on my own!!!”

“This is my first time joining the group & I have been really impressed. There are so many people, but the program is organized well & exercise goals are being met. Personally, I am not very self-motivated & know I need more physical activity if I am to live to 100! I joined to get me off the couch – and it has worked, thank you. I appreciate that I can do as much or as little as I want & still feel that there has been an accomplishment.”

“RoCo has been life changing for me. 3 years ago I couldn’t even run a mile, now I’m running half marathons, thanks to the mentors at RoCo who helped me all along the way with encouragement, tips and little shoves here and there when I needed it. RoCo members are like family. I enjoy getting to know new people every session and it’s so exciting and motivational to see so many people at RoCo. I truly believe the majority of people want to get healthy and be healthy, but they just don’t know where to start. The RoCo program is THE place to start and it has touched many people.”

RoCo Fit is excited to offer this free program three seasons each year to anyone 12 years old and older. The program is also proud to have grown and mentored two other look-alike programs, one in Garfield County (Walk this Weigh) and the most recent one in Washington County (FLOWCo-Fitness Lovers of Washington County). Rogers County will continue this effort this summer beginning with the pace group activity to assess pre-fitness training level on Tuesday, May 27th, 6:00 p.m. at Claremore High School Track. Workouts will begin at Claremore Lake on Thursday, May 29th, 6:00 p.m. with participants meeting at the first shelter after entrance. Registration is now open and will continue until June 6th. For more information and forms, please contact Renetta Harrison, 918-341-3166, 918-698-7903, or email at renettah@health.ok.gov. Let’s make Rogers County healthier one fun step or stride at a time.

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