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Mount Nittany Health Walk aims to aid fairgoers

by on August 23, 2012 11:52 AM

STATE COLLEGE —Caramel apples, corn dogs, funnel cake and deep fried something-that-was-once-healthy, like vegetables — they all await visitors to the Centre County Grange Fair.

Is it possible to enjoy these tasty, but questionable treats and still do something great for one’s health? Mount Nittany Health presents this challenge — the Mount Nittany Health Walk which kicks off at 9 a.m. on Aug. 24.

But the 3rd annual Health Walk is not just about one day of walking; it’s a walking challenge for every day of the fair, because the corn dogs and the deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are there everyday too.

“Last year quite a few people let us know that they walked the one mile course more than once a day. They felt good about that,” said Teresa Jessop, RN, practice manager at Mount Nittany Physician Group Penns Valley Area Family Medicine.

Sally Barkman from Reedsville was one of the more than50 people who participated in the Mount Nittany Health Walk in 2011.

“This is one of my strategies for keeping weight off during the Fair,” she said.

She walked a mile each day of the seven-day event and in so doing, became a "passport member" of the Mount Nittany Health walk. With five stamps on her passport she received a free gift.

To encourage people to join the Mount Nittany Health Walk, here are a few statistics gleaned from the WebMD website. First the bad news:

  • Fried Snickers (5 oz.): 444 calories and 29 grams (g) fat
  • Fried Twinkie (2 oz.): 420 calories/34 g fat
  • Funnel cake (1): 760 calories/44 g fat
  • Twinkie Dog Sundae: 500 calories/14 g fat
  • Cotton candy: 171 calories/0 fat
  • Fried cheesecake (6 oz.): 655 calories/47 g fat
  • Foot-long hot dog and bun: 470 calories/26 g fat
  • Giant turkey leg: 1,136 calories/54 g fat

And here’s the good news. Walking burns a bundle:

  • A simple rule of thumb is 100 calories burned per mile for a 150-pound person.
  • Walking burns approximately the same amount of calories per mile as running.

n According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American MedicalAssociation, older adults who take a brisk walk just three times per week can boost their brainpower and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Walkers and all visitors can stop by Mount Nittany Health’s booth at site 29 in building 12 near the grandstand between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. each day to meet healthcare providers and receive valuable health information:

  • Thursday, Aug. 23 — Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery
  • Friday, Aug. 24 – Advanced Directives (living will)
  • Saturday, Aug. 25 – Penns Valley Family Medicine
  • Monday, Aug. 27 – Kids Day
  • Tuesday, Aug. 28 – Orthopedics
  • Wednesday, Aug. 29 – Cardiology
  • Thursday, Aug. 30 – Diabetes Education

For more information, visit

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