When I was younger, I was a very active person. In high school and as a young adult, I played competitive volleyball, fast pitch softball and racquetball, and I ran or walked almost every day for exercise. But as time passed, my life became much busier—I got married and had children, I worked full time, and before I knew it, my exercise habits had become secondary to those everyday demands.
Every year, I vow to myself that I will do better; I will develop the important habit of exercise, because I know that it reduces stress and is good for overall physical and mental health. I always start out strong, but then I slowly taper off as work and family responsibilities once again take precedence.
This week, I saw an announcement on iUTMB for the 2014 UT System Physical Activity Challenge. I decided to sign up. From May 1 through June 12, I have committed to walk 50,000 steps each week. I am excited because this will not only improve my health, but I also have an opportunity to challenge each of you who have the same struggles I do with making a commitment to exercising consistently.
One of the benefits to signing up is that I get a free pedometer to measure my daily steps. The site also provides a short instructional video on how to log my activity and get credit for it. I completed a health assessment so that my activity could be credited to UTMB in the UT System Health Challenge. At the end of the six weeks, the UT institution with the highest per capita logged activity will be awarded this year’s “Traveling Trophy”. I am a pretty competitive person, so wouldn’t it be great if all of you joined me in this physical activity challenge and UTMB won the trophy?
However, with or without the trophy, I am doing this because the real winner will be my family and me, because hopefully, I will have developed a habit that keeps me healthy and active. Isn’t that the best trophy?
So, I am asking you to join me. Are you interested? Visit http://www.livingwell.utsystem.edu/challenge14.htm and sign up. If you feel comfortable doing so, please let me know how you’re doing with the program. Also, if your department decides to participate as a team, or you have fun ideas to get motivated or involved in the program, please share! Then, let’s all get started moving!