Capitol Hill Takes on a Walking Challenge

By , SparkPeople Blogger
So who doesn't like a challenge? We, here at SparkPeople, find that challenges are actually a great motivational tool in helping our members reach their goals. So if SparkPeople members are motivated by the challenges, could this work for our politicians and their staff members in our country's capital? After all, many of us our motivated by the mere thought competing against others which isn't always a bad thing.

Seven weeks ago a competition like no other in Washington, D.C. went out to members of Congress, their staff, as well as the Capitol Police. This friendly competition had nothing to do with political affiliations in the least. The competition you may ask--to see which Capitol Hill team could cover the greatest distance walking over a six week time period commencing on June 16th and ending on July 28th. The reward--the honor of being named the 'Top Walkers on the Hill' and receiving one of two highly sought after Blue Shoe trophies.

The event sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, marks the 8th year of the Annual Walking Works Capitol Hill Challenge. Each team was comprised of at least five members, each of whom were each given a pedometer to track his/her mileage. The teams competed in two different categories: the first challenge was to see which team would cover the greatest distance during this six week time frame, while the second challenge measured the average miles attained per walker.

With well over 1,000 participants making up 62 teams, Team Iowa was bestowed the honor of being named 'Top Walkers on the Hill' with a team total of 9409.58 miles. The top average miles per walker honor went to Illinois Representative Tim Johnson's team, averaging 353.62 miles. If you would like to see how the other teams did, just click the following link What I can appreciate about these types of challenges is that they encourage us to never underestimate the power small pockets of activity play in our health and weight management, especially when we integrate them into our busy schedules. Amazing how a quick jaunt into the grocery store can become a half-mile trek when we take advantage of walking around the parameters and interior of the store just so that we can meet our daily walking goal.

Do you think challenges, like the Walking Works Capitol Hill Challenge, are a motivational tool for those looking to meet goals? Do you participate in any challenges on the SparkPeople site and if so, which ones are your favorite?

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Comments

I belong to the "DONE GIRL" Team, but haven't done challenges. Report
I do think these challenges are a great way to encourage people. An organization did something similar to this with students. Our school participated and every kid was given a pedometer. I would love if we did this again. I personally where a pedometer everyday. I wish that sparkpeople used those steps to receive points towards exercise but they do not at this time. Because of this I simply where the pedometer to keep me going. My goal is to get in 10,000 steps. I know depending on my day depends on my number of steps. Today I have only gotten in 7,000 steps. I know this is because I have sat alot today due to showing a video in class. With this knowledge and some time to kill before my daughters arrive on their school bus, I need to get moving to get in my 10000 steps. :) See ya all later. Report
I believe challanges work. The company I work for did a similar challange for a month. The lure of prizes awarded made me make sure I got out there walked. Report
I am on my first SP challenge now and it is a great booster for me! Report
it's funny how when you see your name on a leaderboard, you want to keep it there or move up if possible! Report
the challenges help me keep motivated. Report
I looked on the link to see where my reps placed - and I emailed one to see if the team I think was his, was indeed his. I added if it wasn't I challenged him not only to get a team going, but to be in the top 10. In doing that he might inspire other residents of our state to do the same. At least he'd be leading/representing by example. Report
Keep going. Report
In Nebraska, there is a statewide walk challenge very similar for the county employees. The various counties compete against each other. The totals are averaged so that a small county like I work for can compete against the giant counties. At present, I am averaging 10,000 steps per workout, at least 5 days per week (this is not counting any other walking, only during a workout). This is the first year I have participated, and I'm loving it! Report
Wow! I grew up in Iowa and now I live in Illinois Rep. Tim Johnson's district! Both are great goals to aspire to! We have a similar challenge going on this summer at work, which I didn't join, but I bought a pedometer several weeks ago and have been logging about 12,000 steps/day. I'm definitely ready for the Fall challenge! Report
MARGARITTM
Great! Glad to see our political leaders "walking the talk" That truly is the way to lead by example. BRAVO! Report
KEEP IT UP! Report
I totally agree, challenges do motivate us, if we need motivation, I sit at a desk at work all day and often need motivation. Report
SHERRY217125
Yeah I think it's a great tool. Report
Great idea - a challenge is just another motivational tool. Report
Great Idea. more towns or groups should start this kind of challenge. It is more motivating when you are competing with others. Report
Yeah for Illinois and Iowa!!! Report
ANJNNO
I think this is great. I have put the same challenge to my employees. It is being a lit of fun. Report
I think challenges are a great tool. It motivates you to do your personal best. It is just as important for our leaders to be physicially fit as it is for us. That is one of the best things about sparkpeople. If we really work with the teams we commit to we are constantly challenged in every aspect of our weight loss journey. It is a great motivational tool. And a great way to make friends who are trying just as hard as you to become physically fit and healthier. My favorite challenges are the step challenge, it makes me walk more just to increase my steps on the meter. and a calorie challenge commits me to track everyday and stay in range. Report
I think challenges are a great motivational tool, but like anything else you get out of it what you put in to it. Report
PEPE865
I love challenges but the people around me don't seem to care so I have no one to challenge me. Large impersonal ones like here on Spark, don't seem to work as well for me. I need face to face accountability that isn't so easy to cheat or quit.

I'm surprised the "Red" politicians didn't object to naming the prize "blue". Just a thought. LOL Report
I THINK THESE CHALLENGES ARE GREAT IDEAS. FOR MEMBERS OF OUR GOVERNMENT TO BE HEALTHY ROLE MODELS IS WONDERFUL !
Report
I think it depends on how committed the people around you are to the challenge. I participated in my workplace fitness challenge last year, and was totally disappointed my the lack of commitment from my co-workers. I ended up winning all the weekly prizes without really trying. It didn't help me reach my goals at all. However when I joined the fitness challenge at the gym, I came in at the middle of the pack, but got a lot closer to my own goals. Report
CRNELSON
I think challenges work because it makes you accountable for your actions. I believe that most people have a little competitive streak in them so if they are able they will be up for a good challenge. Report
I love a challenge! It's not the challenge itself that motivates me as much as working on a goal together with others. I get involved in challenges amongst SparkFriends and it's fun! Report
Additional motivation comes from Challenges. I enjoy the team challenges I've participated in recently. Report
CALIJIM
I believe challenges are a great thing. My wife and I challenge each other in getting our steps in everyday Report
Challenges are helping me as I exercise more now to meet them. Report
PARKERCM
Way to go team Iowa!! I have worked hard when events have been offered where I work--but they were individual, or at least for me they were. When I tried to do weight loss in a team, I really let them down. I still had the "Maybe it will just fall back off" mentality. After a number of years, it is clear that will not be the case. Report
SHEILASMOM
I don't like to let anybody down, so team challenges have helped me stay on track. Report
Challenges help me! Report
I love challenges, I wish my job would over some of physical fitness since we sit at our desks all day. Report
FIERYSPARKED
Challenges help me soooo much! My sparkteam has a challenge everyday and I love it! Report
Challenges are AWESOME to keep you going on days you feel like you can't go no more. Spark people keep you motivated to not give up. At work we all are encouraging each other to meet our healthy goals. Great blog Nancy. Report
I love a challenge! It keeps me motivated to keep trying. Our team leader does a number of Biggest Loser challenges throughout the year comprised of 2 teams who are competing against each other for weight loss and exercise. Within those teams, the co-captains also come up with mini-challenges. It's been fun - and a helpful motivational tool! Report
We have an exercise competition at work where if we go 200,000 steps in a month, we get $50. It is motivating and pretty challenging also. Report
 
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