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BLUE ZONES: Come roll with us

BLUE ZONES: Come roll with us

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Trina Justman Reichert

Community Health Advocate

The last four months have proved to be challenging in many ways, but, as discussed in previous columns, we have also witnessed some behavioral bright spots. In April, we reported that our Dodge County trails were seeing a 200-300% increase in usage for the month of March and we’re anticipating higher than average numbers to be summer’s trend as well. A July 10 article in The Washington Post, “Why Quarantine Led Some People to Better Fitness Habits, and How They Can Maintain Them,” poses some interesting thoughts about how you can incorporate some of the positives long term, even when things settle into a new norm.

One suggestion is to seek meaningful short-term rewards instead of always aiming for long term motivation. An initiative like Blue Zones Project is great at doing just that. Instead of only focusing on the long term motivation, i.e., eat better so you can live to 100, we make eating well rewarding and fun through our cooking demonstrations and potluck moais.

We have missed engaging with the people of Dodge County in these ways. However, there is a safe, outdoor, physically distanced event coming up for you to enjoy.

Consider getting your bike out at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug.4 at Swan Park for the first ever “7 at 7 Slow Roll.” This event is a combined effort between Blue Zones Project’s Beaver Dam Built Environment Action Team and the Dodge County Historical Society. Both groups want to encourage moving naturally while interacting with some of the unique historically relevant features in Beaver Dam. New walking and biking maps will be given out at the start of the event along with an info card of seven historical places that will be covered in about seven miles. The pace will be causal and all ages, abilities, and types of bikes are welcome. More information is available on Facebook or call the Blue Zones Project office to speak with someone directly.

The goal of this event is to move a little, learn a little, and celebrate community while connecting with your neighbors, whether they be familiar friends or new. If, in the end, you’re inspired to do those things more frequently because of it, your overall health will thank you.

"We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate and lack. We should not long to return, my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature."

—Sonya Renee Taylor.

 EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was updated Aug. 5, 2020 to correct attribution of a quote from Sonya Renee Taylor.

Blue Zones Project is a community-led well-being initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through improvements to a city’s environment, policies, and social networks. Blue Zones Project is brought to Dodge County through sponsorship by Marshfield Medical Center-Beaver Dam, in collaboration with Sharecare, Inc. and Blue Zones, LLC. Dodge County is the first Blue Zones Project demonstration site in the state. For more information, email  or visit

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