I Love Walkingspree! video contest & Walkingspree Bloggers

What do you love most about Walkingspree? Is it the pedometer, or the challenges or competitions?

Or is it the opportunity to get and give support to other members? Maybe it’s watching your progress on Step Tracker or watching your pants get smaller and smaller!

Whatever it is, tell us all about it in a video love letter. Be creative, serious, or zany and just have fun!

Post your video on our Facebook page, or upload them on YouTube and email us a link with your contact information to Your video could win you a $50 iTunes card or Gift card (your preference)! Walkingspree will be taking submissions until September 1st.

Walkingspree Bloggers

And now we want to introduce you to one of our new Walkingspree panel bloggers. Every Wednesday, bloggers from different programs will be sharing their experience with all of you on this blog. We hope you’ll be inspired by them and will share your journey with them. Please feel free to ask them questions or make comments on their blog posts in the comments section of their blog post.

Welcome Rene’ Brown, CNO employee.

My name is P. Rene’ Brown…just call me Rene’.
Maybe one day I’ll tell you about the “P” – maybe.
I am the mother of one son and I have two grand children who are the apples of my eyes.
One boy who’s five…I’m sorry – “almost six” ;o) and just lost his first tooth and my grand daughter just had her fourth birthday.

I’m a grand mom at heart and although I am going to be 50 in February 2012, I refuse to be a “50’s” grand mom.

When I take my grands to the play ground I actually play with them. I jump on the swings, encourage them to climb trees, run through the sprinkles on hot days, and work on upper body strength by doing pull ups on the monkey bars. – Okay, the monkey bar part – I do my best.

I love adults, but am not too fond of “grown” folks. They are too grown for me. Among other things that I won’t mention here, they are too grown to have a gut wrenching laugh, too grown to play and too grown to have silly fun. One of my most sincere prayers is that God make me (my heart) like a child at play. HE hasn’t disappointed me yet.

I love my church – St. Paul’s at 10th and Wallace in Philadelphia – and minister in music by singing on the Inspirational and Women’s choirs and yes, I wear my pedometer at church – under my robe or when robes are not required – I clip it to my secret place…Shhhh. But I don’t go anywhere without my pedometer.

Once my car needed to be serviced and I planned to drive to the service center, walk home, then walked back to get it when the work was completed. When I realized I forgot my pedometer, I drove back home to get it. Hey, that walk yielded 15,000 steps…and I wasn’t about to waste all those steps. Okay – I’m obsessed – I admit it!

Even my mother loves my pedometer and asks about my step count everyday. As a work at home on-line professor she doesn’t get out of the house as much as she used to. You know the drill – go down stairs, make a pot of coffee, and sit at your desk for six or seven hours. My pedometer really made my mother take a look at how sedentary her physical activity has become and has actually made her get out a take a walk or two during the day. Once my car needed to be serviced and I planned to drive to the service center, walk home, then walked back to get it when the work was completed. When I realized I forgot my pedometer, I drove back home to get it. Hey, that walk yielded 15,000 steps…and I wasn’t about to waste all those steps. Okay – I’m obsessed – I admit it!

I have a ton of interesting walk stories to tell you – catch up with me on my blog and by any means necessary keep…CLOCKIN’ THOSE STEPS.

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Move Smart! 5 Tips to Help You Reach Your Step Goals

If you are having a bit of trouble reaching your step goals, try these time-tested strategies to keep you on track.

Set a Specific Goal: Saying that you are going to walk more and get healthier is great, but to be a true goal it needs to be SMART, specific, measurable, adjustable, realistic and time based. Determine your daily step goal and go for it. Once you reach that goal, increase it a bit and go for it again.

Use Your Pedometer: Not only is your pedometer an accurate way to track your steps and monitor your progress, it is also an excellent motivator. Knowing you have X number of steps to go might be the motivation you need to get moving. Who knows, it might motivate you to get in an extra 1,000 steps over your goal!

Keep a Record: Your Walkingspree account makes this easy. Review your daily step count and monitor your progress on your Step Tracker. Make sure you upload your steps frequently; say once or twice a week or even daily, to help you keep on track.

Make Time: Set a specific time to do your walking. It will help you develop a routine and thus help you achieve your daily step goals. Put it at the top of your “To Do” list and don’t let other priorities be an excuse not to walk. Remember, you are priority No. 1.

Get a Buddy, Be a Buddy: Participants who walk with a buddy walk farther. It is a great way to get and give support, and push for “one more time around the block”. Invite a buddy through the Walkingspree system and send them a buddy gift for a friendly challenge.

Do you have a tip that works for you? Share your success idea in the comment section below.

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Sedentary Lifestyles More Harmful than you Think

A recent study looked at the decline of physical activity in the workplace over the past 50 years. In the 1960s about 50 percent of the jobs required moderate physical activity. Today, 80 percent of our jobs are sedentary and require little or no physical activity. This decline in activity results in about 130 additional calories every day according to the study.

Another study reported that people who sit behind a desk for 10 years are two times more likely to develop bowel cancer.

A sedentary lifestyle expends low energy – leading to weight gain and other health issues.

But there is hope. Even short breaks can make a difference according to a Diabetes Care study. Researchers found that subjects who moved throughout the day showed improvements in triglycerides, blood pressure and waist circumference.

By creating walking opportunities at work and at home, you can attack the risks of a sedentary lifestyle. At work, go talk to coworkers rather than sending an email. Walk at lunch. Use a copier down the hall or on another floor. Take walking breaks instead of coffee breaks.

At home, walk to the corner store, instead of taking the car. Jog in place during commercials, or better yet, take a walk outside or hop on a bicycle.

There are tons of opportunities to move throughout the day and just 2,000 to 3,000 more steps a day will help burn off 100 calories.

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Move Smart! Exercise intensity determines walking effectiveness

Studies show that exercise intensity has a lot to do with the health benefits of walking. Intensity describes how much effort you put into walking – the more effort you use, the more calories you burn and the more fit you become. To get the most health benefits, you should walk at a moderate or brisk pace.

But how do you know if you are walking at moderate intensity?

A new study reports moderate intensity is about 100 steps per minute or 3,000 steps in 30 minutes.

Researchers at San Diego State University measured the amount of energy participants expended while they walked on treadmills at different speeds – from 2.4 to 4.1 miles per hour. The subjects also wore pedometers to count their steps. They found that the participants’ moderate intensity ranged from 92 to 102 steps for men and 91 to 115 steps for women.

You can calculate the number of steps you walk per minute by using your pedometer. Note the number of steps on your pedometer, walk exactly one minute (use a watch with a second hand to track the seconds) and then check your pedometer again. Calculate the number of steps walked by subtracting the starting number from the ending number.

If you walked about 100 steps per minute, terrific! If your total was less, then gradually pick up the pace until you reach the target. If you do a pace of 60 steps per minute for at least 10 minutes, your pedometer will start counting your aerobic steps (they are part of your total step count).

Here are two other ways for you to measure your intensity:

The Effort Scale of 1-10 allows you to “rate” how hard the exercise feels to you when you are doing it. You should aim for a rating of 5-7.

  • “1” – at rest, sitting or lying down
  • “2” – very light effort, like stretching or brushing your teeth
  • “3-4” – fairly light effort, when your muscles start to feel warm but you are not likely to get tired for at least 30 minutes
  • “5-7” – hard to heavy effort, when you are sweating and doing something you couldn’t do for very long
  • “8-9” – very to extremely hard effort, so strenuous that you could not do for more than 2 minutes without stopping
  • “10” – highest effort, the hardest thing you ever did, like running as if you were being chased!

The Talk Testis another way to rate your intensity. You should aim for Moderate to Hard Effort.

  • Very light effort – you can carry on a conversation and talk in sentences
  • Moderate effort – you can talk, but not in full sentences
  • Hard effort – you can talk, but would rather not
  • Very, very hard effort – you cannot say a word
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Move Smart! Plan a walking vacation this year

Walking on a pierStill planning your summer vacation (or staycation)? How about making it a walking vacation!

Guided walking tours run the gambit, from architecture to history to shopping to haunted houses! After deciding on your destination, check with the local tourism bureau for river walks, hiking trails or guided tours. Most museums offer self-guided tour material and maps, and some even offer audio-guided tours for a fee.

Another great resource for self-guided walking tours is Volkssports or IVV clubs. (Google: ivv walks)

Volkssports, meaning “people” sports, are non-competitive fitness groups that originated in Europe. These walking clubs have associations in the U.S., Canada and Europe, and offer a wealth of information about permanent trails selected by club members. The trails may go through scenic or historic areas, and may be in cities, towns, parks, or rural areas.

How about …
… taking the Royal London Trail from Hyde Park, to Kensington, past Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square in England.
… enjoying more than 120 pieces of art at the Benson Sculpture Gardens in Loveland, Colorado.
… following the San Antonio Riverwalk through the King William District, past the hotel where Theodore Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders, an onto the “The Alamo.”

Throughout the year, individual clubs also organize walking events designed for all fitness levels. No membership is required and it is a great way to experience your destination.

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Don’t forget to:
– Pack sunblock and insect spray.
– Wear a hat, a good pair of sunglasses and your pedometer.
– Carry water and snacks.
– Don’t overdo it, take regular breaks and remember you have to walk back!

Botanical gardens, sculpture gardens, zoos … oh, so many opportunities to get your 10,000 steps a day!

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