welcome to Rise & Walk: Virtual Edition


JuLY 27 –  August 21, 2020

First launched in Middlebury in 2019, the program is now statewide with
this virtual edition in order to practice necessary physical distancing.

Register for the Rise & Walk and pledge to walk 30-minutes, three times a week. The American Heart Association recommends 150-minutes of movement a week, so this challenge is a way to jumpstart your walking habit or add to your existing physical activity routine. Typically, Rise & Walk is a group walking program that is kicks off each session with a quick talk from a healthcare provider on a range of health topics. In the virtual environment, you will receive Monday, Wednesday, Friday emails with a recorded 5-minute health talk and encouragement to get your walk in for the day.

Get a raffle entry when you register and additional entries each week when you answer a super quick  4-question survey each Monday of the 4-week challenge. Get a 6th entry from a final post-challenge survey! Prize packages include a yoga mat, water bottle, jump rope, and resistance band!

Complete at least 150-minutes or more in movement per week. Why should I pledge to walk?

 Rise & Walk Health Talk Schedule






July 27


Dr. Melissa Clark, Porter Medical Group

July 29

Stretch it Out: Tips for strengthening your body through 10-15 second stretches

Nancy Schaefer, Health Coach, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

July 31

Not your plate. My plate!: Balancing your meals and maximizing your nutrition

Peg Canal, Registered Dietitian, Brattleboro Memorial Hospital

Aug 3

Stress smart: Understanding your body’s emotional and physical response to stress and anxiety

Dr. Adam Ameele, Springfield Medical Care Systems

Aug 5

Happy feet: Selecting the right shoes

Dr. Paul Smith, Podiatrist, Gifford Health Center

Aug 7

Mindful Eating: Four Pillars to Eat smarter and enjoy your food

Cat Maina, Family Nurse Practitioner, UVM Medical Center

Aug 10

Strengthen your body to prevent injury

Brittany Annis, Physical Therapist,  and Sarah Livingston, Physical Therapist, DPT, Burlington Physical Therapy

Aug 12

Terrific teeth: It’s all in establishing a hygiene routine

Dr. Cedric Pecor, DDS, Dentist Milton Family Dentistry

Aug 14

Prescribing Food for Health

Dr. Scott Durgin, Lifestyle Medicine Doctor, Springfield Medical Care Systems

Aug 17

Heartburn, Recognition and prevention

Minta Trivette, APRN, DNP, Gifford Health Center

Aug 19



Aug 21

Picky Eaters, Tips for your journey of food

Stacy Pelletier, Registered Dietician, Gifford Health Center

 Rise & Walk Links & Resources


Signed up after June 27th and want to see the emails you missed? Each Monday, Wednesday, Friday email will be added here once it is released. The emails include the recorded health talks and accompanying tips!

The Benefits of Walking

  • Becoming active significantly reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  • Walking works several major muscle groups – the knee extensors (quadriceps), hip extensors (hamstrings and gluteal muscles) and muscles of the lower legs (gastrocnemius and soleus in the back, anterior tibialis on the front, and arch muscles in the feet). These muscles help pump blood back to the heart, and exercising them improves circulation, muscular endurance and dynamic balance.
  • For every hour of brisk walking, life expectancy for some people may increase by two hours.
  • Research has shown that walking at a lively pace at least 150 minutes a week can help you:
    • Think better, feel better and sleep better.
    • Reduce your risk of serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer.
    • Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels.
    • Increase your energy and stamina.
    • Improve your mental and emotional well-being and and reduce risk of depression.
    • Improve memory and reduce your risk of dementia.
    • Boost bone strength and reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
    • Prevent weight gain.

    If 150 minutes sounds like a lot, remember that even short activity sessions can be added up over the week to reach this goal. And it’s easy to fit in a few minutes of walking a several times a day.

How to make and keep walking fun

Try walking different routes in your neighborhood or mixing in a hill or two with flatter terrain. Vary your pace. Walk at a more casual or moderate pace for a couple of blocks, then increase your pace (power walk or speed walk) for a block. Walking with a friend is a good way to combine social time with exercise. Some people enjoy walking with music. Some music is geared more for exercise with energizing tunes and a beat or tempo suitable for walking. Be sure to remain aware of traffic and your surroundings. Keep track of your time and distance walked each day. Keeping a daily log tracks your progress and keeps you motivated.

Free Fitness Tracker Apps
StepsApp Pedometer: Automatic step counting, workouts with GPS tracking, active calorie recording, and social media sharing. Understand your fitness improvements with weekly, monthly, and yearly activity charts. You can also synchronize and import your daily exercise via Apple Health. If you track your steps independently from your iPhone on a watch, StepsApp merges the tracked activities onto one platform.
Apple Health App: Built in to the iPhone itself, Apple Health makes it easy to track, access, and organize your exercise and health information. It consolidates data from your iPhone, Apple Watch, and third-party apps so you can store and see all of your progress in one place. Store personal data such as blood glucose, body measurements, heart rate, and nutrition. Record your daily steps and analyze your long-term trends of activity on interactive charts.
Google Fit: Construct a journal of your activities by recording heart rate, speed, pace, and route. Google Fit collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Heart Association (AHA) to create Heart Points. Increased heart rate during exercise translates into Heart Points based on intensity. Compatible with many other apps such as Apple Health, Lifesum, Runkeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal, Headspace, and more.
Pacer Pedometer & Step Tracker: Track your steps throughout each day whether your phone is in your hand, in your jacket, or in your backpack. Record your flights , calories, distance, and active time, and use GPS to log outdoor miles. Pacer allows you to track your body weight and BMI data over time. Set day-by-day goals, motivate other users, and create walking groups with fellow exercise junkies to compare daily steps in real-time.
Samsung Health: Provides basic and mandatory features to guide a healthy lifestyle. Whether you enjoy running, walking, mountain climbing, cycling, or indoor cardio, track exercise easily using the various built-in trackers. The app offers specific exercise programs like endurance training and creates a platform in which you can compete with friends and check your ranking. You can also audit your food, caffeine, and water intake details with intuitive charts displaying diet and fitness goals.