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The Walk 500 Challenge

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This is a fantastic fitness program for teachers and staff.
Submitted by Sally White from Palm Bay, Florida.  



Background: With the advent of the new federal Local Wellness Policy that requires school districts to develop and implement policies for nutrition and physical activity, many schools and school districts are looking for new ways to promote staff wellness on a dailiy basis. Here’s an idea that has worked for us!

How We Did It: The Palm Bay Elementary School teachers and support staff incorporated “Walk 500 – Take the Challenge!” during the 2005-06 school year.

Last year, thirty-one teachers and employees at the school “stepped up” to the Walk 500 challenge of walking on a daily basis, setting attainable goals, journaling their experiences and logging their miles.

Walk 500 is a national, incentive-based walking program that people across the county are using to improve their health, manage/lose weight and earn fabulous prizes. Walk 500 challenges people to set short and long-term walking goals for themselves and others.

As recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General, American College of Sports Medicine and others, walking 30 minutes a day (about 500 miles per year) will help most people realize the health benefits associated with an active lifestyle.

The strong social component of Walk 500 awards incentives to those who communicate how they have used the Walk 500 program to motivate others to focus on their fitness and wellness goals.

“Palm Bay Elementary School and physical education teacher, Sally White, are to be highly commended for setting such a positive example for the students and families in the community,” states Christine Schnitzer, Walk 500 Assistant Director. “Their use of the school grounds, neighboring parks and special events like International Walk a Child to School Day have been recognized by the community and local media. Most impressive is the integration of walking into the lesson plans of other subjects like science and math.”

Closing: This is a great school-wide activity that is easy to implement, fun to do, and can really bring your staff members closer. Please consider implementing this program at your school!

For additional information about creative ways to plan and implement Walk 500 at the elementary level, please feel free to contact Sally White. To learn more about how “Walk 500 – Take the Challenge!” can be incorporated into your school, workplace and community, please contact:

Christine R. Schnitzer
Walk 500 – Take the Challenge
PO Box 2433
Sandy, Utah 84091
(321) 223-1580

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