The 14th week of the Healthy Appanoose Challenges are printed below. The free program can be joined anytime throughout the year. Log in at the Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at www.centerville-ia.com to record challenges completed. At the end of Phase 1 on April 18, the 50 participants who logged in the most will be entered into a drawing for $100 in chamber gift certificates.
Day 92 — April 16 — Switch up your stride. During one of your journeys by foot today, vary the length of your strides. Begin with short and peppy steps (if you’re feeling creative and want to get into character, pretend you’re a chihuahua that just had a double espresso shot). After 15 steps, switch over to longer, slower strides (maybe pretend you’re a stomping giant who forgot to have his double espresso shot!). Switch back, and continue changing your stride every 15 steps until your walk is done. Changing the length of your stride strengthens muscle groups in your legs, ankles and core that don’t get used when you walk normally. And because you’re engaging a greater number of muscles than are necessary for regular walking, you’ll get your heart rate up and burn more energy. Plus, who knows when you might have another chance to pretend you’re a tiny dog and a massive giant?
Day 93 — April 17 — Get wise about eyes. Read guidelines for when to have an eye exam. Visit the website of the Mayo Clinic at www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/eye-exam/basics/why-its-done/prc-20014417 and learn when to have an eye exam. Eye exam guidelines are different for everyone and depend on your age, family history and whether or not you have a chronic disease. Making a visit to the eye doctor at the right time means that he or she will have the chance to find any problems early on, when they are most treatable.