I always love hearing about a great idea going that on and this is another perfect example of that, Healthy Maine Streets!  The Healthy Maine Streets idea is building on the Maine Downtown Center’s efforts for revitalization downtowns can in turn help to revitalize the heath of those in those down-towns, especially employees in downtown businesses. Healthy people, healthy down-towns and vice versa, Healthy Maine Streets.

The Healthy Maine Streets website has information about being smoke free, foods, work-site wellness and being active. In a downtown, taking a walk is SO easy!  Many of us live in areas without sidewalks, and walking near our homes can be more of a challenge. But with sidewalks you are set for a walk on just about any day!  Down-towns are perfect for a walk and there is always something to see and it’s easy to create a loop to bring you right back where you started.

I saw a wonderful story on WCHS about Healthy Maine Streets.  It all apparently started in Skowhegan as a community wellness effort. Then after some grant money become available there was an effort to do the same thing in other down-towns. About 20 Maine down-towns are taking part.

In Gardiner, which has always had a cool downtown, they have started a ‘Take A Hike’ program. For those taking part they even have pedometers to take their steps and there are goals like walking the distance of the Appalachian Trail and there are some prizes involved. But really, the prize is better health and a stronger community.

There is also a walk three days a week around downtown Gardiner people can come out and join. Getting up and getting the blood moving really does help. It has been shown to reduce the number of sick days and people are more focused and productive at work.

Congrats to all of those taking part, I love this idea!