Combating Obesity for Alachua County’s Health
COACH is the health initiative of the Alachua County Medical Society and Alliance, aimed at combating obesity.
Our flagship events are the Saturday Weekly Wellness Walks (www.walkgainesville.com), held at the Santa Fe College track. We work to encourage our community to participate in other walking opportunities. For example, the Alachua County Department of Health holds evening walks at the Fred Cone park. Morning Mile walks for students are held daily at many of the elementary and middle schools in Gainesville, a project developed by Fitz Kohler. Additionally, many small group Neighborhood walks have been started under our aegis.
The Alachua County Medical Society and Alliance are pleased to to have won three health related competitions for the WEEKLY WELLNESS WALKS. The AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, the SOUTHERN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION and the FLORIDA MEDICAL ASSOCIATION ALLIANCES named the WEEKLY WELLNESS WALKS their #1 community obesity awareness projects for 2014.
Over the ten weeks of the Weekly Wellness Walk in 2014, we had the participation of close to three hundred people. We offerred a pedometer the second time each walker returned and a log book the third time they walked. Anyone who filled out a walking log covering 30 days, was entered into a drawing for a membership at the largest health and fitness center in our area. Walkers were encouraged to find partners and form neighborhood group walks through our website to continue their efforts at introducing walking into their weekly routines. All participants received weekly reminders about the walks, news about the walk leaders and other items of interest. Walkers could also view photos on our website of themselves walking or chatting with the walk leaders. Olympic- style medallions were provided to those walkers with near perfect attendance. T-shirts with our logo were provided to the Alliance members and volunteers. Some of our walkers were fit, while others were heavy. On the morning of the fifth walk, a heavy woman, whose life had been clearly altered by the walks, announced she had already lost 17 pounds!
Over the eight weeks of the Weekly Wellness Walk in 2015 and 2016, we had the participation of more than six hundred people. These were held in a block, commencing in early January every Saturday morning, beginning at 8:00 AM at the Santa Fe College track. There is no charge to participate. For details call 352-870-9100.