One of the best features about the Healthy Active Arkansas framework is that anyone—regardless of resources—can find something achievable within the plan. Whether it’s simply making a greater effort to be physically active, or something much larger such as working with city, county or state leaders to enact healthy policies that positively affect thousands, the HAA framework offers a variety of scalable ideas that benefit physical activity and nutrition. The City of Little Rock is a great example of this.

In late spring, Gail Lackland, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the City of Little Rock, contacted Healthy Active Arkansas to learn about sugar-sweetened beverage reduction. Specifically, she wanted ideas on how to conduct a water challenge with several employees of the City’s Fleet Services department. We provided her copies of the Healthy Active Arkansas Rethink Your Drink Educational Campaign toolkit, which includes resources and tips on how to encourage drinking water in a variety of settings—specifically, how to do a 30-day drinking water challenge.

Ms. Lackland, understanding that adopting healthy habits is best approached in small steps, decided to launch a 10-day water challenge with Fleet Services. Those who participated in the water challenge were encouraged to track how many cups or ounces of water they drank each day over the 10-day period, and note any positive changes they experienced.

In just 10 days’ time, some of those who participated in the challenge noted having more energy, focus, and even lost a few pounds! The benefits of the water challenge even spilled over (a water pun!) into other areas of the participants’ lives: an Accounting Specialist within Fleet Services also noted making other small, healthy changes in her family’s diet.

Join us as we congratulate the City of Little Rock’s Fleet Services on the many healthy rewards of their 10-Day Water Challenge! We would like to note that the City of Little Rock is also a participant of the Arkansas Department of Health’s Community Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program (CHELP), which is a free, web-based tool that allows participants to track healthy habits. On July 15, CHELP and AHELP (Arkansas Healthy Employee Lifestyle Program) launched a 30-Day Water Challenge, in which the City of Little Rock is also participating.

Choosing water over sugar-sweetened beverages is an important step everyone can take to maintain a healthy weight, as well as reduce the risk of tooth decay. Drinking plenty of water is also a critical to avoiding dehydration, especially in summer.

Cheers to rethinking your drink and choosing water!