August 15, 2011

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is unveiling an online challenge to help Kentuckians better themselves physically and financially. 

The Kentucky Fall 2011 Small Steps to Health and Wealth Challenge is a free, four-week program that allows participants to daily track the good choices they make related to nutrition, physical activity and saving money. The program begins Sept. 4 and runs through Oct. 2.

“Becoming aware of your current behaviors with regard to health and personal finance is the first step in making a successful change,” said Jennifer Hunter, UK assistant extension professor for family financial management in the UK College of Agriculture

As they input data, participants will be able to see their daily point totals in each of 10 categories plus a bar graph comparing their progress to other participants.

The challenge is part of the national Cooperative Extension’s Small Steps to Health and Wealth program which is aimed at motivating Americans to take actions to simultaneously improve their health and wealth.

“As individuals work toward improving both their health and personal finances, it is important to realize that small changes do make a difference; adopting only one of the 10 recommended daily practices is a step in the right direction,” Hunter said. “The more SSHW Challenge activities participants are able to adopt, they should notice more positive results.”

Registration is open now for the program and will remain so through Sept.10. Participants can register online at http://njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw/ or contact their local extension office.

The top finishers will receive prize packs. The first 150 people to complete the challenge and a follow up evaluation form will receive a UK water bottle.