Do, Eat and Believe in a Healthy Washington County
Go For Bold is a community-wide initiative aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles for the residents of Washington County. With a Bold Goal of losing 1 million community pounds by 2030, this 10-year journey will:
- Focus on increasing physical activity through fun and engaging community-wide events
- Incorporate mindfulness and stress reduction techniques into daily activities
- Offer nutrition tips and healthy recipes that focus on fresh fruits and vegetables
Healthy Washington County is a coalition of public and private organizations with a mission to strengthen the health and wellness of our community and residents.
Pledge as a Go For Bold partner by joining as an individual or as an organization. Please mail completed pledges to :
Meritus Health – Corporate Communications
11110 medical Campus Road, Suite 10
Hagerstown, MD 21742
or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
We suggest organizations estimate their total weight loss by using this formula:
# of employees x 4lbs x 10 years
(ex: 100 employees x 4lbs x 10 years = 4,000 lbs)
Sign-up for our Weight Tracker!
The weight tracker allows us to keep a tally of all the pounds lost as we strive for our Million Pound weight loss. You can join as an individual, team or leader. The tracker uses a confidential login system for individuals to input and track their cumulative weight loss.
Increase your physical activity through fun and engaging individual and community-wide events.
Physical activity is one of the best things people can do to improve their health. It is vital for healthy aging and can reduce the burden of chronic diseases and prevent early death. Active people generally live longer and are at less risk for serious health problems like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. For people with chronic diseases, physical activity can help manage these conditions and complications.
Nutrition tips and healthy recipes that focus on fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
A healthy diet may help to prevent certain serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. It may also help to reduce your risk of developing some cancers. If you become sick, eating a healthy diet may help you to recover more quickly. Also, eating a healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Incorporate mindfulness and stress reductions techniques into daily activities.
Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress. Benefits include better sleep, weight loss, lower stress levels, improved attention, eases chronic pain and reduces anxiety.
Larry Bayer knew it was time to do something about his health, so he started one step at a time. Today he has walked off more than 50 pounds — even during a pandemic.
As a way to encourage more people to lose weight and embrace a healthy lifestyle, Healthy Washington County has launched Go for Bold. This community-wide initiative is aimed to promote healthy lifestyles for residents of Washington County. The goal is for the community to lose 1 million pounds by 2030.
Bayer is on his way to contributing to that goal.
The 70-year-old Hagerstown resident quit smoking 30 years ago but his weight started to slowly creep up.
“I never really noticed it It was like a gradual build-up. Then it got to the point I was pretty lackadaisical about it,” he said, sitting in Meritus Medical Center’s lobby where he’s been volunteering for three years after retiring from the City of Hagerstown after 30 years,
In November 2019, Bayer had a physical with his primary care provider, Matthew Kearney, PA-C, who told him that the 252 pounds he was carrying were affecting more than his pant’s size.
“My blood pressure was high. My triglycerides were not stellar,” Bayer said.
By journaling what foods he ate and using a fitness tracker, Bayer decided to start walking at Robinwood Professional Center.
“At first, I could do one lap of one floor,” he said. “Eventually, I could do several laps of both floors. Then I moved outside.”
As he increased his miles, Bayer’s daughter Julie Bayer-Vile suggested that he join her for an annual 10K in Richmond, Virginia, that she and her husband, DJ Vile, ran every year. The race set for March 2020 had waves for walkers to participate, so Bayer set a goal of 6.2 miles in 90 minutes.
Although COVID-19 forced the run to be postponed, Bayer kept walking.
“It got to the point I was doing 6 to 7 miles six days a week,” he said.
By July 2020, Bayer hit his 50-pound weight loss goal. In September 2020, Bayer, along with his daughter and son-in-law, entered the 10K. It took Bayer the 90 minutes he had hoped for to finish the race.
Today, he continues to walk and sees the benefits. He’s dropped from a 42-inch waist to a 38-inch waist. He went from having to take two high blood pressure medications to one with a lower dose. He’s joined a gym and likes to golf. Through it all, he said, his wife Susan has been his biggest cheerleader. He said he’s proud of himself.
“I have a really deep sense of accomplishment,” he said.
To get involved with Go for Bold, sign the pledge.