Healthy Franklin County is partnering with Summit Health on the Stepping Into Spring community walking challenge. The FREE 12-week walking program is designed to promote wellness by encouraging participants to walk more often during the day. The challenge is open to anyone in the community!
The walking challenge runs from February 12th – May 6th. Any community member and or employee of participating employers can participate, including spouses, children, co-workers and/or friends. The challenge is open to participants doing other physical activities if they convert their activity into steps.
Summit Health piloted the walking challenge last year which had over 400 participants. A new feature this year is an online fitness activity tracking tool – Challenge Runner. Challenge Runner includes a leaderboard that allows each participant to see where they stand in relation to other participants using real names. Participants can monitor their progress with the Challenge Runner app and can sync steps logged on certain wearable devices to it daily.
The step goal is 70,000 steps per week. Participants are encouraged to complete at least 7,000 – 8,000 steps per day to meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. Each week, participants who are actively participating by submitting steps will be entered ONE time into a random weekly drawing to win a $25 Visa gift card or sponsored gift card. Participants who submit steps AND complete the goal of 70,000 steps that week will be entered TWO times into the random weekly drawing. There will be a grand prize for the individual logging the most steps for the entire challenge and a grand prize for the team logging the most steps for the entire challenge. The employer with the most participants will be recognized.
The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. The guidelines also recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes every day. Walkers can check their intensity using the talk test; a person doing moderate-intensity activity is able to talk, but not sing. Engaging in this level of regular moderate-intensity physical activity increases heart rate and breathing and decreases the risk of diabetes and supports mental health.
Engaging the Franklin County community in walking and other forms of physical activity became an important goal for Healthy Franklin County after learning that a quarter of adults aged 20 or older in Franklin County answered no to the following question in the latest community health needs assessment: “During the past month, other than your regular job, did you participate in any physical activities or exercises such as running, calisthenics, golf, gardening, or walking for exercise?" Physical inactivity increases risk for many major chronic health issues, such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Healthy Franklin County works with community partners to help residents change behaviors that improve health outcomes of all Franklin County residents. Walking is a great way to improve health and wellness. If you're interested in Stepping Into Spring, register by February 9th at https://www.summithealth.org/walkingchallenge.