Fort HealthCare Announces the “Make Each Step Count” Community Challenge

(Fort Healthcare submission) Fort HealthCare is pleased to announce a brand-new, FREE community-based wellness challenge open to adults beginning May 4, 2021, to coincide with Mental Well-Being Awareness Month. Registration began online on April 5th.

This six-week challenge encourages physical activity and tracking steps as a way to get participants moving. Steps and exercises are tools for healthy coping by decreasing the effects of stress on the body.

Tiffany Pernat, Fort HealthCare Worksite Wellness Specialist states, “Physical activity is so important for the entire body and all of its systems and should be done at a moderate intensity most days of the week. This can range anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes each day.”

Pernat continues, “Aside from physical activity helping with overall health and values such as blood pressure, cardiovascular endurance, blood glucose numbers and weight, it has a positive effect on the brain, which can help a person when they are experiencing stress, anxiety or depression, and can be a great coping mechanism. With exercise, I always recommend that a person pick something that they know they will enjoy and find fun, because it won’t feel as much like ‘work’ so it will be something to look forward to and maintain throughout time, thus creating healthy and sustainable habits.”

Traci Wilson, Fort HealthCare’s Community Programming Coordinator, adds, “Walking (or any exercise) can help relieve stress in many ways. Short bouts of exercise can boost endorphins in the body, which can help reduce stress hormones and alleviate mild depression.”

Wilson notes, “Everyone experiences some type of stress each day, which can affect our overall health. The key is to manage our stress and the quickest and easiest way to get out of our heads, is to get up and take a short walk. At Fort HealthCare, our mission is to improve the health and well-being of our community. We hope that the ‘Make Each Step Count’ Challenge provides a fun, engaging opportunity for people to challenge themselves by managing their stress with exercise.”

The challenge will also include two weekly tasks to complete. One will be a piece of weekly education and the other will be tracking your steps. If you do not have a tracking device such as a Fitbit, Apple Watch or Garmin, an activity-conversion chart will be provided. Also, many smart phones have a tracking app you can use to keep track of your steps.

Additionally, throughout the challenge, there will be an interactive daily calendar that will have a daily challenge, weekly Bingo Bonus Challenge and great pieces of health information and blogs to encourage your progress. As part of the challenge, there will be prizes given to some of the top step-getters.

Pernat continues, “This challenge is a great opportunity to get moving, come out of an exercise-funk you may be in, or to continue with your current exercise plan. At Fort HealthCare, health and wellness is a top priority, and if we can have a little fun and friendly competition with others in the community, we hope it sparks lifestyle habits that continue for participants beyond the challenge dates.”

The challenge will encourage 10,000 steps a day throughout the six weeks; however, the prize structure will start at 5,000 steps a day to inspire those individuals who are just starting their fitness journey, or those who have taken some time off and are jumping back in.

For more information about the challenge and how to register, please visit FortHealthCare.com/StepsCount.

Fort HealthCare is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities, with a vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin. As the leading healthcare provider in the region, it is our goal to reach as many members of the community as possible with health and wellness messages, providing tools and resources to help individuals improve their health and quality of life, while collaborating with several partners to positively improve the population’s health overall on a long term basis. For more information, visit FortHealthCare.com.

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