NORMAN – Imagine walking the distance from Norman to this summer’s Olympics in Beijing and back more than ten times, participants in the spring Heart and Sole walking campaign did just this. The 803 participants walked 296,043,796 steps, or 148,021 miles, during the six-week campaign.
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 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. “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.”
Mayor Cindy Rosenthal was one of the participants in the campaign along with seven other team members on her team “Movin’ with the Mayor.” Mayor Rosenthal led weekly Friday morning walks throughout Norman which were open to the public and showcased various local walking areas.
“It’s a way to get to know people and connect with the community, hear what their concerns are or just get acquainted,” Rosenthal said at the first walk.
Norman Regional employee Nancy Robinson walked away with first place in the individual category. She logged 2,124,145 steps during the six-week program. Working two catering jobs, she said she spends her days and nights walking. Robinson said she plans on using her prize, a $1,000 travel voucher, towards a vacation for her and her husband of 31 years.
The second place individual walker was Julien Lima with 2,068,324 steps, third place was Michael Gibson with 2,063,674 steps, fourth place Kerri Sturdevant with 1,894,202 steps, and fifth place was Joel Prewitt with 1,844,619 steps. The first place team winner was the FNS Wok’ers who also took first in the fall Heart and Sole campaign. Robinson was one of the 13 team members. The team walked a total of 12,086,528 steps during the campaign, The second place team winner was the Fast & Furious, third place was Fit Together, fourth place was that Our steps cure, and fifth place was Lifecare Girls On The Go.
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 fall, for more information on the Healthy Community Coalition go to www.myhealthcommunity.com.