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Teams count their steps for wellness

Alexander Graham, General Reporter
March 14, 2013

Student Health Services is hosting a walking challenge that has teams of five counting their every step.
The 10,000 Steps Challenge will last for four weeks starting April 1.
As the title suggests, the goal of each person is to hit at least the recommended 10,000 steps per day, or about five miles. However, it is stressed that participants should focus more on having fun and getting the most out of the experience than worrying about the exact number of steps they are taking.
“Every single person doesn’t need to hit 10,000 steps every single day,” school nurse Jean Schlueter said. “It’s just the fact that they go out there and try it.”
Walking, specifically, is not the most important factor of the challenge. The purpose is exercise.
Team members can be involved in activities other than walking that can be converted into how many steps one would have to take to burn the same amount of calories.
“The goal is to stimulate students into exercising and getting used to an active lifestyle,” medical assistant Paula Martin said.
Sophomore Ryan Kauffman said he thinks the 10,000 Steps Challenge will help him while he prepares to join the U.S. Marine Corps.
“When I was talking with (one of the recruiters), he said my main weakness was the fitness stuff: push-ups, pull-ups and running,” Kauffman said. “I feel like the option to do exercise that can be converted into steps would definitely make my training more fun and get me more motivated.”
This year, students studying abroad in Seville, Spain, are also participating in the challenge.
The Education Abroad office and SHS will organize an online walking tour of Spain.
SHS will set up a 10,000 Steps blog where participants and the general public can check the progress of the teams studying in Spain and find inspirational tips and instructions for making it through the challenge.
“Some people think the track runner always wins, but that’s not the case,” Schlueter said. “Everybody wins!”
Teams can have a mixture of students, staff and faculty. Individual participants can call Student Health Services for assistance finding a team.
Each team’s designated captain will record the total steps their team took throughout the week, and each week there will be prizes awarded to those with the most steps.
The prizes will be awarded to the team that took the greatest number of steps, the team that took the second greatest number of steps and a completely random team.
This is the fifth consecutive year that Schlueter has run the challenge.
“We used to do a Wellness Fair,” Schlueter said. “We decided to go in a new direction at a conference (five years ago).”
To learn more about the challenge or to register a team, please visit uwplatt.edu/steps.

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