MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 16, 2008

Forum garners healthy lifestyle ideas

Encouragement and involvement were among several ideas offered Thursday at a public forum designed to help Muskogee citizens become more healthy.

Dozens of people offered ideas in a three focus groups — activity, nutrition and tobacco — during the Muskogee Wellness Initiative Forum at the Muskogee Civic Center.

Darren Shrum, owner of Champion Fitness, said he felt interpersonal support will make some of his group’s goals become a reality.

“The biggest thing is to increase the awareness of the public,” Shrum said after the meeting. “We talked about how are we going to get people involved. Whether it’s an exercise partner or a walking partner, people will be more committed and hold each other accountable if they have a partner.”

Kent Kamp, Muskogee Swim and Fitness, and Karen Allen, Oklahoma School for the Blind, presented some of their activity focus group ideas at a wrap-up held at the forum’s conclusion.

They included:

• Public service announcements through the city of Muskogee’s civic channel on cable television.

• A “volkesmarch” where groups would gather for group walks and then log their success.

• Encouraging businesses to offer flex time for employees to work out, as well as incentives such as fitness club memberships.

Faye Waits with the Muskogee Department of Human Services, one of the activity forum participants, said she thought she could take back real changes to her office.

“I think we can build some activity in for our employees into the work day,” she said. “I think I can talk the boss into it. We’re not talking about a big time commitment.”

Delsie Lewis, Muskogee County EMS, said she was attending to promote her favorite idea.

“I’m here so we can get some more bike trails in Muskogee,” she said. “We really need them. I’m really pushing this.”

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