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Listen to the real Forest Gump

The Real Forrest Gump Kicks Off Morrison County Wellness Project “Live Better! Live Longer!”on May 15

After walking and running 7 times across America, Robert Sweetgall will be visiting Morrison County on Wednesday, May 15, to speak on the subjects he knows best – walking, physical activity and the motivation to move.


Sweetgall first visited Minnesota during his foot journeys across America. In the fall of 1984 Robert walked across Minnesota, hitting 20-below zero wind chills in the city of Litchfield. Carrying only a 4-pound fanny pack for his total support system, Robert had to find places to sleep, night by night. One Friday night in the city of Benson (on the eve of the deer- hunting opener) the manager of a grain elevator advised Robert not to walk on the highway that night, and graciously provided a 25-pound bag of dog food for a pillow and an open invite to sleep on a sawdust-covered floor in the Benson grain elevator. Sweetgall averaged 31 miles a day walking for 365 straight days, trekking 11,208 miles through all 50 states to talk to nearly 100,000 students, teachers and citizens about the benefits of walking and staying active to avoid heart disease.

In his former life, Robert Sweetgall (a Brooklyn, NY native) was an overweight boy nicknamed “Butterball”, a chocolate cheesecake-lover, high school valedictorian, DuPont Company Chemical Engineer and born-again ultra-marathoner. After losing much of his family to heart disease, Robert resigned from his $100,000-per-year engineering job to take his message “on the road” – literally walking across America. As the Wall Street Journal noted during this mission “When Sweetgall Walks, People Listen.”

Wednesday, May 15th Robert will lead FREE wellness sessions to Morrison County citizens of all ages with a simple message about two-legged medicine: how your own two feet can be your heart’s and body’s best friend, and why you don’t have to do marathons or extreme fitness sports to stay healthy. “It’s the simple, little changes, sustained over a lifetime that really makes a difference” states Sweetgall. This is also the theme of a brand new book, One Heart, Two Feet, co-authored by Robert Sweetgall and Dr. Barry Franklin (Cardiac Rehab director @ Beaumont Hospital) which takes a preventive, research-based and practical approach to curb the nation’s skyrocketing healthcare bill. “The focus is on prevention of chronic disease – rather than managing disease” describes Robert Sweetgall.

There are five FREE sessions open to the public. All sessions will be held at St. Francis Hall on the campus of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls Lower Level EXCEPT the 3:00p.m. “Motivation to Move” session held at Horizon Health Community Room in Pierz.

7:30 a.m. “Worksite Wellness on a Zero Budget” (targeting the business community) 9:30 a.m. “How to Add Years to the Your Life and Life to Your Years” 3:00 p.m. “Motivation to Move” (walking, wellness, eating habits, stress and longevity) – Pierz/Horizon Health 6:00 p.m. “Nordic Walking “ (burn fat and flatten your stomach) 7:00 p.m. “Motivation to Move” and “Diabetes and Heart Disease Risk”

The Live Better! Live Longer! (LBLL) Wellness Kickoff is supported by the Healthy Communities Collaborative (HCC) of Morrison County. To learn more about the LBLL project and to RSVP for one of the FREE sessions contact Kate Bjorge in the HCC office: 320-631-5675 or email: katebjorge@catholichealth.net. To learn more about Robert Sweetgall visit: www.creativewalking.com. The kickoff event is funded by a Statewide Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) grant through Morrison County Public Health and the LBLL Move Team.

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