Step Up, Gadsden program kicks off at Carter-Parramore

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By Alice Du Pont

The music was playing and everyone was having a good time April 15 in the gymnasium Carter-Parramore Academy May 15 during the Step Up, Gadsden, Be Smart, Be Healthy! challenge. The event is part of "Step Up, Florida!" and was intended to get Floridians off the couch and into a exercise program.

The goal was sign up as many people as possible, arm them with pedometers, and encourage them to take 20,000 steps per week. The afternoon also featured a health and fitness expo complete with food and games. Booths included anti-smoking information, selecting the proper health foods and the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The nearly 100 people attending also had the opportunity to see an exhibition volleyball game, and watch a karate demonstration by Alpha UPKUDO in martial arts. They could also participate in a high-paced fitness dance called Zumba.

"I have never done the Zumba exercise before. It looks like it's a simple dance but you use all of the muscles. I'm all about fitness so I don't mind working up a good sweat," said Eric Hinson, school board member.

Maureen Jones, director of Woman-To- Woman, one of the organizations that sponsored the event, said  the 4-hour event was a good way to get people and families out to get some exercise together and learn about the health benefits of regular exercising and eating properly.

If you would like more information on how you can join the fun, contact the Gadsden County Health Department at 875-7200, Alpha UPKUDO Martial Arts and Fitness at 514-4334 or the Gadsden Woman to Woman Program at 875-4959.  You may also contact by e-mail Ronterrius_Clark@doh.state.fl.us,Masteranne@upkudo.com or levans@centerforhealthequity.com. Be sure to mention the name of the campaign.

Send your comments to adupont@gadcotimes.com.