Angelina Co. walkers cover over 63 thousand miles in walking initiative

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For two months 450 East Texas walkershit the pavement and managed to walk more than 63,000 miles.

The Walk Across Texas initiativekicked off in September, and that's when 65-year-old Kathy Felts said a friendfrom work encouraged her to start walking.

"I started walking with her andjust got into it and just kept going," said Felts.

Felts walked nearly 1,500 miles and lost 10pounds, she said she was surprised at how the steps she took added up at theend of the challenge.

"I hardly ever sit down and whenI go at to lunch I walk on my lunch break and I walk on my breaks," saidFelts.

Angela Hill is a member of the winningteam, her and six of her co-workers walked more than 4,000 miles.

Hill said she was able to do her partby walking before work, after work and on weekends and she is seeing theresults.

"Lost some weight my energy levelwent up and I just felt good about myself," said Hill.

Challenge winners say the walkinginitiative was about more than winning a prize but about improving theiroverall health.

"You'll feel better aboutyourself, you'll actually lose weight its just one step at a time," saidHill.

"You need to get in shape now sowhen you get older you won't be in bad health," said Felts.

Registered dietician Amy McLeod saidthat eating right and exercising are beneficial for your health but she sayshealthy living can also impact the economy.

"We were able to save AngelinaCounty three million dollars in potential health care costs and reduced lostwages due to missed work," said Amy McLeod Rd, Ld.

Health officials are already workingon planning another Walk Across Texas event in the spring.

The group winners wereawarded with a t-shirt and walking DVDs for rainy days.

The individual winner won 100 dollars in giftcards from Brookshire Brothers, Target and Academy Sport and Outdoors.

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