PNS Daily Newscast - July 10, 2020 

The Supreme Court opens the door for prosecutors to seek President Trump's financial records; a backlash in Florida on school reopening plans.

2020Talks - July 10, 2020 

US Supreme Court rules on Trump's tax returns; Houston mayor cancels Texas GOP's in-person convention; Louisiana has elections; and DC council gives people incarcerated for felonies the right to vote.

ID Mayors Make Strides on Children's Health with Walking Challenge

The goal of the Mayor's Walking Challenge is to encourage kids to be physically active. (JackF/Adobe Stock)
The goal of the Mayor's Walking Challenge is to encourage kids to be physically active. (JackF/Adobe Stock)
October 4, 2019

BOISE, Idaho – Mayors across Idaho are challenging each other to walk this month to encourage physical activity among young people.

The sixth annual Mayor's Walking Challenge from the Blue Cross for Idaho Foundation for Health has signed up 77 mayors in all but five Idaho counties. A mayor who averages at least 10,000 steps a day in October will earn $1,000 for their community to spend on school or community projects, or promote physical activity or healthy foods.

Twin Falls Mayor Shawn Barigar says communities need to address health risks, like obesity.

"Childhood obesity is one of those that I think rises to the level of epidemic, and something that we need to figure out ways we can try to address that,” says Barigar. “I think that the walking challenge gives us a chance to model healthy behavior, like walking instead of jumping into your car every time you need to go do something."

More than one in five Idaho children is considered overweight or obese.

Barigar adds Twin Falls received a $250,000 Community Transformation Grant from the Blue Cross for Idaho Foundation for Health to promote healthy living for youth.

Driggs Mayor Hyrum Johnson also is competing in the walking challenge. Johnson, like other mayors, schedules his walks around town and with local schools, where they get "bonus steps" for walking with children.

He says being active is not only important for combating weight gain.

"A certain amount of physical exercise every day – and it's really a very moderate amount – is proven to have numerous health benefits, numerous mental health benefits," says Johnson.

The mayor who gets the most steps in will receive funds for physical activity equipment for a local elementary school or city park. Barigar says he isn't setting his sights that high, but does plan to show off on his walks.

"I, by no means, am going to be the mayor in Idaho that walks the most steps,” says Barigar. “I've learned that that's not my strength. But I try to have a good time doing it, so I have my own Facebook page that I've set up; I take a lot of selfies with the kids. I just try to have a lot of energy and excitement when I'm with them."

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID