Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Change Club in Lamar Encourages Residents to Walk More and for “Livable Streets” to be Developed Citywide

Dr. Lydia Kaume, nutrition and health education specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

LAMAR, Mo. – The Change Club of Lamar is encouraging every person to make a change toward a healthier lifestyle according to Dr. Lydia Kaume, a nutrition and health education specialist with MU Extension.
The Change Club is a group of dedicated individuals who understand the need to improve the health of the community for the sake of our kids and grandkids. Change Club members envision a vibrant community that is progressively adopting healthy lifestyle changes.

“Each Change Clubs nationwide has 10 to 15 women who are committed to staying fit, strong and healthy and to motivate others to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” says Kaume. “We envision them as the catalysts of community-wide environmental changes, which will include providing healthier food for local concession stands, food standards for afterschool programs or spearheading the construction of new sidewalks or bike paths to encourage physical activity.”

In Lamar, the Change Club was originally started by MU Extension Nutrition Specialist Tammy Roberts as part of the Healthy Lifestyles Imitative led by MU Extension.


Since change begins with oneself, Change Club members want to encourage individuals to make walking a part of their daily regimen.

“Walking is an aerobic activity that makes you breathe harder and improves the health of your heart and blood vessels. Adults need 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobics physical activity. They may achieve this moderate level of physical activity through walking,” said Kaume.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) guideline is to use a fast-paced walk for no less than 10 minutes at a time but spread-out throughout the week.

Benefits of walking include: a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Walking can also improve general health and well-being, and help with weight control.


Change Club members recognize that walkable communities result in more physical activity.

Walkable communities have streets built with considerations for: motorists, pedestrians, wheelchair users and bicyclists. Such streets are known as “Livable Streets,” and they have sidewalks and crosswalks, wheelchair ramps and curb cuts, bicycle lanes and mixed-use paths.

The Change Club endeavors to promote the development of a policy toward safer streets with defined paths suitable for walking and biking.

As Change Club members work toward making our community walkable here are some things the CDC recommends individuals to engage.

• Begin a walking group with friends and neighbors or co-workers

• Assist others in walking safely by driving the speed limit and yielding to people who walk

• When crossing streets use crosswalks and crossing signals

• Engage in local planning efforts that identify best sites for walking paths and sidewalks

• Promote children to walk to school where safe

Change Club recommends these safety precautions: Talk to your healthcare professional before beginning exercise and call 911 if you experience chest pains, numbness on one side of the body or other signs of heart attack.


Stay hydrated during prolonged physical activity or when it is hot outside by drinking fluid while doing the activity followed by drinking several glasses of water or other healthy fluid after the physical activity is completed.

For more information on nutrition contact one of the following nutrition specialists: Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545. Information is also available online

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