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First Annual Resident Walking Challenge by Craig Cole, Exercise Physiologist

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Village Fitness Center set about in April of this year to come up with a simple idea to get more activity with walking on Bethany’s campus. Our campus provides a wonderful area to walk not only outside but inside as well. I came up with the idea of the Resident Walking Challenge just simply by watching what occurred on the campus and by talking with various residents. The idea was to promote walking as a simple and time efficient form of exercise that could be performed by anyone capable of walking.

The Walking Challenge was open to all Independent Residents as a means of encouraging engagement in a basic form of movement that has many health benefits. It was also intended to help inspire others, whether you formally participated or not, to get up and walk.  The challenge was kicked off in May with 38 residents participating through September.   Each Monday and Friday at 9am, I led a group (of who ever wanted to attend) around Reflection Lake walking for 45 minutes. Everyone was encouraged to walk at a speed they felt comfortable with and walk as many times as they liked.

What I found to be truly amazing shortly after the Challenge started was the number of residents out walking that didn’t even sign up. This was a side-hope that I had with creating this Walking Challenge, inspiring others to exercise.

For each participant, I kept individual records as well as an overall group total. As a group, 38 Bethany residents combined walked 2,619 miles! There were 6 residents who walked over 100 miles respectively and out of those 6, two residents each walked over 500 miles in the span of 5 and a half months. With this distance, the group could have walked beyond San Francisco, California! What an effort!!

Again, I would like to thank everyone who participated, your efforts were outstanding. I hope everyone had an enjoyable time rediscovering the joy of walking and interacting with others. The Fitness Center intends to do this Resident Walking Challenge again starting in April 2015 (weather permitting of course!). Just remember, even though the Walking Challenge may be taking a break during winter months doesn’t mean you need to. Now is the time to start preparing for not just next year but for tomorrow and each day after that by visiting the Fitness Center and enjoying what Bethany has to offer!

Written by Bethany Lutheran Village

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