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Small Steps Reap Big Rewards

Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at 11:28 am

There are several exciting health initiatives in Grundy County, including school gardens, tobacco education, and walking challenges. A new initiative that we are excited to join is called Healthier Tennessee Communities, and was put forth by Governor Bill Haslam. Our participation with Healthier Tennessee will band together churches, local businesses, hospitals, schools, and government officials to promote healthy living. This initiative encourages local organizations to adopt “small starts,” which are simple ways to improve health on a daily basis. Some small starts include taking the stairs, tracking food intake, going on short walks after meals, and allowing four minutes to pass during a tobacco craving.

walk with mayorOne small start that we have already adopted is getting out and walking more. Our county mayor, Michael Brady, has begun a series of walks in different towns throughout Grundy.

The first “Walk with the Mayor” was in Beersheba Springs and included local residents and representatives from Mountain TOP, Discover Together Grundy, the Grundy County Health Council, the South Cumberland State Park, the Grundy County Rotary Club, and Mayor Michael Brady and his family. We would like to extend a special thanks to Sam Baggett, a member of Friends of the South Cumberland State Park, for organizing the first event and to local residents Howell and Madelaine Adams for all of their support.

We are excited to announce that the second “Walk with the Mayor” will take place on Saturday, November 19, at 10 a.m. in Tracy City. We will gather at Tracy City Elementary School, and make our way along the projected Mountain Goat Trail multimodal path while visiting local businesses throughout the town. Patrick Dean, the organizer of the Mountain Goat Trail Alliance, will join us with updates about the trail. Construction on the Mountain Goat Trail in Tracy City is due to begin in early 2017. By extending the Mountain Goat Trail throughout Grundy County, residents will have access to a beautiful place to walk and exercise.

All walks are free, and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information about the upcoming walk and the Healthier Tennessee Communities initiative, please visit the Grundy County Health Council’s Facebook page. We are encouraging more local businesses and churches to become Healthier Tennessee establishments. Registering your worship place or workplace can be accomplished by visiting the Healthier Tennessee website,, and clicking “start now.” Once your organization is registered, Healthier Tennessee encourages its members to adopt small starts and to promote and participate in local health initiatives. This is a simple process that could have a booming impact. Imagine what would happen in our community if we chose water over soda or a walk over a cigarette. This is the goal of the Healthier Tennessee initiative, to instill simple life changes that will better the health and wellness of Grundy County residents.