The benefits of exercise are numerous, from reducing risk of heart disease to boosting your mood, and Gundersen Health System’s Minutes in Motion challenge offers the opportunity to join community members in embracing fitness.
The 16th annual Minutes in Motion program, which runs through May 8, is open to individuals of all ages who can participate solo, in teams, with family members or as a classroom or workplace. The challenge officially started March 28, but registration remains open for the duration.
The collective goal for 2022 is 5 million minutes of activity, with participants encouraged to clock 30 minutes a day. Those new to exercise, or who haven’t been active for a long period, can break up their movement into periods of 5 or 10 minutes throughout the day and work up to longer sessions.
McKenna Schmidt, wellness education specialist at Gundersen, says while people “often think exercise has to be structured and rigorous,” anything that gets your body moving counts. Gardening, walking, cleaning, joining your kids on the playground — the key is picking something you enjoy so you are more likely to stick with it. Those who are already avid exercisers can use the challenge as a chance to mix up their routines by adding in strength training, working toward a faster mile, or trying a new fitness class.
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Schmidt suggests doing Minutes in Motion with a team or alongside friends or family members, as, “We know people are more likely to succeed when they are surrounded by other people who have similar goals in mind.”
Just half an hour a day of movement can help with regulating blood sugar, reducing risk of some cancers, strengthening the bones, improving balance, and helping with sleep, as well as offering mental benefits like stress reduction.
“This program can provide great motivation to individuals seeking improved health and wellness,” Schmidt says.
Participants can add minutes during National Walking Day on April 6, with walkers invited to take a photo and post with the hashtag #MIMWalkingDay for a chance to win prizes. Minutes in Motion registrants who log 1,260 minutes by the end of the challenge can submit their minutes for a chance to win more prizes, including a $500 cash grand prize.
To register, visit gundersenhealth.org/mim or call 608-775-4717.
Emily Pyrek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.