Twenty million, five hundred ninety thousand, three hundred sixty-three: That was the number of steps taken by DMU employees and students who participated in this year’s Walktober Step Challenge during the month of October. And that number was enough for the University to take the challenge trophy, topping fellow competitors Drake University and Wesley Life.
During the challenge, participants from the three organizations tracked their daily steps with pedometers, fitness trackers and smart phone apps. Any movement that involved steps counted, including walking and running. Team captains then added the total number of steps per institution and divided them by the number of participants to get each team’s average. The final tally for the month: DMU’s 74 participants logged an average total step count of 278,249; Wesley Acres’ five participants, 276,232; Drake University’s 77 participants, 272,796.
“While it’s awesome we bagged the trophy, the real prize for all the Walktober participants was getting more steps into their daily routines,” says Missy Gripp, M.S., DMU’s Wellness Center manager. “Walking offers real benefits for one’s health, from maintaining a healthy weight and improving cardiovascular fitness to strengthening bones and muscles. It can boost your energy and enhance your mood, too.”
DMU’s wellness staff challenged University participants to hit 10,000 steps or more each day. They offered the following tips to squeeze more steps into daily life:
- Keep a pair of sneakers at work. You never know when you can sneak in a walk.
- Discover a new lunch spot by utilizing your lunch hour for taking a walk around the block.
- Spare yourself the stress of circling around the parking lot looking for the nearest spot. Park your car farther away and walk to your destination.
- Instead of hauling all your grocery bags inside, make multiple trips and bring your groceries in one bag at a time
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.