REACH: Walking the talk

By Maren Stewart

During the Get Movin Challenge, Coloradans embarked on a 30-day challenge to prove that Colorado is the biggest mover by getting active 30 minutes a day. On Aug. 1, LiveWell Colorado and Gov. John Hickenlooper kicked off the challenge to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation.

So how did the state do?

  • More than 8,170 Coloradans participated.
  • 37,800,000 calories were collectively burned, or 10,800 pounds shed!
  • More than 92,500 hours of physical activity were logged. Thats more than a decades worth of movement.
  • 300,000 miles of activity were traveled, or 780 trips across the state of Colorado.

The biggest movers hailed from 10 cities: Denver, Littleton, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Fort Collins, Arvada, Englewood, Longmont, Grand Junction and Broomfield.

The Colorado Get Movin Challenge, presented by Kaiser Permanente, proved that kick-starting a healthier lifestyle doesnt need to be overwhelming or expensive. It provided an opportunity for all Coloradans no matter what kind of shape theyre in to become healthier and try to incorporate physical activity in their lives that they can sustain, even after the challenge is completed. It might start a habit that could last a lifetime.

The most popular activities logged were walking, running and biking. But gardening, dancing and swimming also made a good showing. On Facebook, fans chimed in about how the challenge helped them become more mindful of their daily activity and, consequently, their health.

Such a great reminder to be intentional about exercise, wrote Amy Kay Dowell. Its so easy to put off until later. The challenge reminded me that my health is important, and I need to create opportunities to stay healthy!

It was eye-opening, saidChallenge Ambassador Jessica OConnell. Even though I consider myself active, I realized the days I dont have a scheduled workout, I might not move for a full 30 minutes.

MapMyFitness, a website and mobile application, allowed participants to monitor their progress and stick to their goals during the challenge. I have a hard time getting myself ready to exercise, said participant Susan Hof. This helped me to log in and see it.

By logging at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, participants were eligible to win great prizes such as running shirts, fitness monitors, King Soopers/City Market gift cards, a two-night stay at the Curtis Hotel in Denver, a Vail Epic ski pass, and a Pedal the Plains entry. Individuals who logged their activity for 15-29 days earned a Colorado Get Movin hat, and those who participated for all 30 days received a Colorado Get Movin Tech-Tee.

With a little encouragement, mindfulness and some healthy competition, the Colorado Get Movin Challenge sparked a new healthy habit for thousands of Coloradans, and is one way to create collective momentum to turn the tide on obesity.

Maren Stewart is president and CEO of LiveWell Colorado.