Community Connections

In Your Neighborhood

Stepping Up to a Challenge

Friday, December 12, 2008

Imagine walking around the earth’s equator more than six times. That is the equivalent of the distance traveled by the participants in the fall Heart and Sole walking campaign. The 742 participants walked 309,867,735 steps, or approximately 154,933 miles, during the six week campaign shattering their campaign step goal of 300 million steps.

“The participants did a great job of getting moving and staying motivated and even walked right past the campaign step goal! ”
The participants did a great job of getting moving and staying motivated and even walked right past the campaign step goal!

Heart and Sole is a community-wide walking program aimed at increasing participants’ physical activity. Participants keep track of how much they walk with a pedometer and by maintaining a walking log throughout the six-week program. The goal is to motivate people to start walking for exercise plus give them a chance to win fitness-related prizes.

“We know that the majority of chronic disease killers are an extension of what people do in their daily lives and are modifiable behaviors such as the lack of physical activity,” said Lindy Beswick, Coordinator of Community Health and Wellness at Norman Regional Health System. “By partnering with area businesses in sponsoring the Heart and Sole walking program we hope to encourage people to develop the habit of incorporating physical exercise into their daily routines. The participants did a great job of getting moving and staying motivated and even walked right past the campaign step goal!”

Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal was one of the participants in the campaign and encouraged families to join her team, the Mayor’s Mile Markers, to use the campaign to get fit together.

New to the fall campaign were prizes awarded to all qualified participants reaching set step count levels. The prizes were made available through sponsorships from local businesses interested in promoting healthy community activities. Of the participants completing the program over 93 percent logged enough steps to be eligible for step level prizes. Participants had to record their beginning and ending blood pressures, their daily steps and had to have at least 300,000 total campaign steps to be eligible for step level prizes. Four participants even recorded more than two million steps each throughout the six-week campaign! Step level sponsors were: All Saints Catholic School; CART; City of Norman; Jazzercise; Lifecare Oklahoma Home, Health, Hospice & Personal Services; NRHS Community Health & Wellness Dept.; NRHS Foundation; and Republic Bank & Trust.

The first place team winner was the FNS Wok’ers, a team of NRHS employees who have placed first the past three campaigns. The team walked a total of 9,439,435 steps during the campaign. The second place team winner was the Funky Footsteppers, from Eisenhower Elementary school, third place was Walk Me Down, from NRHS, fourth place was Fast & Furious, from Irving Middle School, and fifth place was Smooth Operators, another NRHS team.

Heart and Sole is sponsored by Norman Regional Health System and the Healthy Community Coalition. The Coalition is a team of businesses, organizations, healthcare professionals and community members who have united to improve the health of Norman’s citizens. The Coalition is focusing on four areas: hypertension, obesity/overweight, smoking and lack of physical exercise. Although these are all national issues of concern, the Coalition has set goals for our local community and is implementing action steps to improve overall health and well-being.

The Heart and Sole program will be back this spring, for more information on the Healthy Community Coalition go to