For the fourth consecutive yr, town of Smithville took dwelling high honors in a statewide competition that promotes wholesome consuming and dwelling.
This yr’s version of the It’s Time Texas Group Problem occurred from Jan. 4 to Feb. 28, with Smithville yet again topping the additional small group class.
The eight-week lengthy competitors noticed virtually 18,000 Texans register to take part and earn factors as representatives of communities, college districts, employers and different groups.
Along with town successful the additional small group class for the fourth straight yr, the Smithville college district additionally got here in third within the additional small college district class.
The group problem, which is obtainable by the nonprofit It’s Time Texas, makes use of pleasant competitors between Texans to encourage wholesome habits, corresponding to consuming fruit and veggies, staying hydrated and exercising commonly.
“There’s a really massive sense of group in Smithville and well being is vital to us,” Mayor Joanna Morgan stated. “We’ve got a well being initiative that’s actually an entire well being partnership among the many metropolis and the colleges, the Wesley Nurse, which is sponsored by the Methodist Church, our group gardens, our free clinic and our meals pantry. So these are all issues which might be vital to us from a well being standpoint.”
Whereas Morgan stated Smithville is aiming to win the competitors for a fifth-straight yr in 2022, the tangible impression of the group problem may be measured statewide.
Because the problem was launched in 2012, greater than 2.5 million wholesome actions have been recorded by residents of greater than 400 Texas communities in an effort to rework group well being within the state.
In the course of the 2021 problem, greater than 220,000 wholesome actions had been recorded by representatives from 331 Texas communities.
“The variety of individuals on this yr’s It’s Time Texas Group Problem exceeded our expectations, given the continued pandemic and the shock snowstorm and ensuing energy outages and water shortages Texas residents skilled in February,” stated It’s Time Texas CEO Amy McGeady. “We’re pleased with everybody who persevered to get more healthy in 2021 regardless of unprecedented obstacles.”
One of many adjustments made for this yr’s competitors was the event of a brand new cellular app for the group problem.
The app was each a option to simply file factors for the competitors and for communities and individuals to remain related by sharing pictures because the problem befell whereas social-distancing efforts continued.
Tracy Walker, a senior director of promoting, occasions and communications at It is Time Texas, stated the nonprofit additionally made digital train courses out there at no cost as a option to encourage wholesome habits throughout an unprecedented time.
“It turned ensuring that we’re publishing supplies and concepts for people or households in small collective models to do secure actions,” Walker stated. “Serving to individuals to suppose otherwise about their well being and to suppose otherwise about meals they’re consuming and the actions as a result of gyms closed.”
Among the point-earning actions Walker seen throughout this yr’s competitors included consuming water as a substitute of sugary drinks, pausing for a meditation second, consuming a vegetable-rich lunch as a substitute of quick meals and a file variety of canine walks.
Greater than 5,000 canine walks had been recorded by this yr’s problem individuals statewide.
In Smithville, Morgan stated there was preliminary concern about problem participation being beneath expectation as a consequence of limitations on public gatherings like playground actions and enjoyable runs as a consequence of to ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
However, participation from metropolis residents within the problem ended up exceeding totals from final yr.
“We put quite a lot of emphasis on placing funds cash into services that permit individuals to get out and train,” Morgan stated. “We’re additionally very lucky in that we’re adjoining to 2 fantastic state parks, which additionally give alternatives for getting out within the recent air.”
Morgan cited the small, walkable nature of town as a purpose why it’s simple for Smithville residents to take part locally problem. She additionally talked about her personal expertise having lived in Houston earlier than transferring to Smithville, and the obstacles that include out of doors recreation in bigger cities with highways.
“It may be simply the truth that as a result of we’re small and all our streets are very walkable,” Morgan stated. “Right here, there’s virtually nowhere that you could’t stroll safely.”
Persevering with to assist initiatives that promote a wholesome way of life for native residents is one thing Morgan stated she plans to do.
The mayor stated town has utilized for a grant by St. David’s Basis that will be used for internet hosting a well being truthful on the Smithville Recreation Center.
Morgan stated an identical occasion additionally occurred a number of years in the past and featured stations the place totally different elements of well being — like diet and preventative well being screenings — had been addressed.
“It was very well-rounded and this yr we plan so as to add some train occasions,” Morgan stated. “That, and our group backyard could be very lively and each the colleges and town encourage households and kids to return out and work within the gardens.”
Morgan stated she expects to be taught extra in regards to the grant in both late Could or early June, and the well being truthful hosted by town could be a summer time occasion.