Challenge Idea: Walk It Off

This month, challenge your department members to take a walk to get fit during National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.

Walking may seem easy, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a 154 pound person burns 280 calories an hour walking at even a moderate pace. The weather’s warmer but not yet into the dog days of summer, making a walk around the neighborhood a great option. You can also walk on a treadmill indoors, or just around the department. Try parking at the back of the parking lot when you go to the store, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

To start the challenge, give each of your department members a pedometer and a copy of the Walk It Off Worksheet . Search online for basic pedometers starting at $2 each. Many watches and mp3 players also have built-in pedometers.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Reset your pedometer each morning when you get out of bed. Before going to sleep at night, record your total number of steps on the Walk It Off Worksheet.
  2. Each week, calculate your total of steps for the week before.
  3. You have completed the challenge if your total number of steps increases each of the four weeks during the challenge.

To motive your department members, try sending out weekly emails with motivational messages and quotes, set up a group walk in a local park or near the station, and award a prize to the person with the most steps during the month. Put up a leaderboard in the station and update the top three each week to increase competition. Find more fitness ideas on the Heart-Healthy Firefighter Program web site.

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