by Miranda G. McLeod
Hundreds of people gathered at downtown’s Hemming Plaza Tuesday in celebration of the Step Up Florida - On Our Way to Healthy Living campaign which kicks off the Get Healthy Jacksonville Challenge.
“The goal of Step Up Florida is to get people out and engage in regular physical activity. The Get Healthy Jacksonville challenge allows citizens to do that in Duval County,” said Department of Health Secretary Rony Francois, adding it was important to not just recognize the programs on one day, but all year long. “Let’s keep working throughout the year.”
Children from the Jacksonville Head Start program listened as different elected officials, including Mayor John Peyton, State Rep. Don Davis and City Council Pres. Kevin Hyde, encouraged them to adopt healthy lifestyles that include good eating habits and regular exercise.
Secretary of Elder Affairs Carol Green reinforced the importance of good health habits and encouraged young people to help seniors with those habits.
“Our little ones may live to be 100 years old with the right habits,” she said. “The most important thing for seniors to know is that it’s not too late to start. It’s time to get off the couch and get exercise.”
Green said it is important for seniors to walk daily and promoted the challenge to walk 10,000 steps a day.