Susan Dell is on a mission to help people “fuel for performance and train for life.” “That’s my mantra,” she said. “I want people to know what foods your body needs for what you need to do in your life, and to be healthy for longevity.” And she’s putting her organizational skill, energy, and her foundation behind it. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will host its inaugural Be Well Walk designed to encourage Austin’s families to make informed and simple changes to improve nutrition and increase physical activity. The 3.6 mile walk is scheduled for Sunday, October 2, 2011 at 4 p.m. at Longhorn Shores on Lady Bird Lake, and one hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit local non-profits working to make Austin a healthier community.
“I want to show people how easy it is to do a walk and be active without it costing a lot of money or requiring a bunch of fanfare,” she said. And for fueling, “all you need is water and a piece of fruit, not some fancy-schmancy bar or bottled drink.”
The idea started with her book, “Be Well: Messages from Moms on Living Healthier Lives,” a compilation of stories from urban mothers about easy and low-cost changes they made in the lives of their families. “Be Well” includes anecdotes of how these mothers made healthy foods fun and involved their children in choosing and preparing vegetables for meals.
“The book shows people how to fuel their bodies properly and how to get the body moving—by limiting screen time and reclaiming public parks for safe and scheduled activities, for example,” she said. The book outlines five keys to healthier living:
1) Increase fruits and vegetables
2) Increase physical activity
3) Decrease screen time
4) Decrease high-energy density foods
5) Decrease sugar-sweetened beverages.
More than one million copies of the book have been given away to institutions and schools in all 50 states. Books (in Spanish and English, and an electronic version) are available for free at www.BeWellBook.org.
“But we realized that the book was talking the talk, but not walking the walk. [The Be Well Walk] shows people how to get started.
“On the registration, you can select which organization you’d like your $25 to go to. Then, when you complete the walk, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation will match your $25 to the organization. We want to shine a light on these organizations and help to sustain their local programs.” The goal is to raise $200,000 for local wellness programs managed by 15 participating non-profits.
For information and to register, go to www.BeWellWalk.org.