The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services takes pride in encouraging all Missourians to look for ways they can improve their health every day. That's why I’m so pleased to be part of the ongoing effort to encourage Missourians to get active outdoors through the 100 Missouri Miles Challenge. Even if it is just one or two miles to begin with, it doesn't matter how small you start, as long as you’re participating.
The Challenge has been a huge success over the past three years. Missourians have completed over four million miles of physical activity and they aren’t slowing down any time soon! This Challenge benefits the health of Missourians because exercise triggers endorphins, promotes relaxation, and prevents anxiety and depression. Walking, jogging and hiking all improve muscle mass to strengthen your legs and improve your balance.
Exercise doesn't have to be a chore and it definitely doesn't have to be a solo activity. Almost everyone can benefit from adding physical activity into their daily routines. With so many activities to choose from, the entire family can participate. Everyone’s fitness level is different, and your miles don’t have to be intense. Just make sure you pick an activity that’s right for you and check with your doctor if you have questions about your own health and beginning an exercise program.
Whether you've been running, hiking or biking for years or you are trying to become more physically active - we welcome you to the challenge. Please take this opportunity to commit to a happy and healthy 2016.
Acting Director Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services