By Susan Williams
Seven Valleys Health Coalition
It’s hopefully safe to say that the snow is finally behind us! Spring is the time to get outside and enjoy all of the sights and sounds Cortland County has to offer.
It is also the perfect time for participating in Bike/Walk Week.
Seven Valleys Health Coalition is kicking off their 2018 Triple Crown of healthy activities with Bike/Walk Week, timed in coordination with National Bike Month and National Bike to Work Day which is always the third Friday in May. 2018 Cortland Bike/Walk Week will be held Monday, May 14, through Sunday, May 20.
National Bike to Work Day originated in 1955 by the League of American Bicyclists and is endorsed by the American Medical Association since increased physical activity is one of the best preventions of chronic disease. According to a study conducted by Brigham Young University, regularly riding or walking to work has been demonstrated to add nine years to an individual’s average life expectancy. Travel mode can also have a significant impact on personal health and community relationships. Commuting alone to work has been linked in studies to increased rates of depression, addiction and other negative social behaviors. Whereas a community’s social capital increases as solo driver numbers decrease and people bike and walk more.
In Cortland County, to encourage more walking and biking, the challenge extends beyond walking or biking to your job to replacing ANY trip you would have taken in your car with walking or biking. It’s that simple. This year’s Bike/Walk Week events will kick off the week before, on Wednesday, May 9 at 6PM, with a Bikeology presentation by the Cortland County Health Department at the Cortland Community Centrer on 90 Central Avenue. Learn how to properly maintain your bike and the rules of the road. Low cost helmets will be available.
From May 14 - May 20, register, log your trips and get more information on the event at www.way2gocortland.org. The more times you walk or bike, the more entries you receive in the grand prize drawing. If you log four or more trips, you are eligible for a grand prize worth $100. Incentive prizes will also be awarded daily to randomly selected participants who have logged at least one trip. The event concludes on May 20, and the Grand Prize will be selected randomly from all eligible trip entries on or about May 23.
Bike/Walk Week is the first of Seven Valleys Health Coalition’s Triple Crown of events. Next up will be Summer Challenge, encouraging individuals and families to get more active and eat healthy while exploring Cortland County. Summer Challenge kicks off Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend. The final 2018 Triple Crown event will be the Car-Lite Challenge happening in the fall. Car-Lite encourages replacing solo commutes with any other form of transportation including carpooling or public transit. Join in on one of these fun and inspirational events to help keep Cortland healthy!
More information on all events will be posted on www.sevenvalleyshealth.org.