Everybody Walk PA Program Information 2018

Join Penn State Extension in a FREE virtual walking program exploring the counties of PA. Walking will be reported April 2nd - May 27th
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Everybody Walk PA Program Information 2018

What is Everybody Walk PA?

Penn State Extension will be taking a virtual walk for the fifth year – this time learning about and enjoying the 67 Counties in Pennsylvania. Each week will bring quiz questions about eight counties. Test your knowledge and then check for the correct answers. Download the map to track your virtual visits to counties across the state.

This is a great program for worksites, schools, community groups or any other group. Even your dog can be a member of your team! Gather your family and friends or co-workers to form a team of up to five.

Team members will try to average walking or exercising ten miles per week to meet the goal of Everybody Walk PA. Walk with your team or on your own at a time and place convenient for you – we will virtually visit different counties each week, you do not have to walk there. Team Captains will report the mileage for their team each week. You can also walk as an individual.

Weekly e-mails will include motivators to keep walking, and strategies for eating more fruits and vegetables. All of this will keep everyone moving toward a healthier lifestyle. The program will run April 2nd through May 27th. It’s free but registration is required by April 1, 2017. Register or learn more about this event at Everybody Walk Across PA or contact Karen Bracey at 570-836-3196 or .

Moderate activity such as walking reduces stress and fatigue and increases mental alertness. It improves cardiovascular functioning and strengthens bones. Combined with healthy eating, it can help to reduce or maintain body weight and decrease incidence of certain chronic diseases. Spring is a great time to get outside and be more active and eight weeks can help turn those healthy behaviors into healthy habits. Take the first step and join in Everybody Walk PA! Individuals with all levels of physical ability are encouraged to participate. An exercise conversion chart is available to translate any physical activity you can do into miles for this program. In addition, while there is a goal of the equivalent of at least 10 miles per week per person, there is no minimum requirement for participation.

Registration

Everybody Walk PA is an eight-week semi-structured walking program to encourage increased physical activity and healthy eating habits.

How the program works

Form a team of up to five people, choose a Team Captain and a team name. Everyone on the team must register in order to receive the weekly e-mail newsletter. Go to Everybody Walk Across PA to register. Your team will need to know who your Team Captain is and choose a team name, but this will not need to be part of your registration. This will get reported by your Team Captain with your first week's mileage report via a link that will be sent out.

Download the tracking forms: Individual Mileage Log 2018 and Captain Log 2018 . Beginning in April everyone starts tracking their miles. Report your miles to your Team Captain each Monday morning to get your team total. The Team Captain will submit them weekly online to Penn State Extension. Team Captains will need to have regular access to e-mail.

Each Monday all team members will receive an e-mail with news about the areas we are "virtually" visiting. Through web-links, photos, and stories we'll be exploring trails all across the state. Each week will also include motivational topics, and healthy eating tips focusing on fruits and vegetables.

The goal is for each person to walk or exercise the equivalent of 10 miles per week during the program. Some will walk more, some will walk less. Walk with your team or on your own at a place and time that is convenient for you. You do not have to walk together and you can walk anywhere. An exercise equivalent chart is available below. You don't have to walk as a team, and you can walk at any time and anywhere that is convenient for you! See the Frequently Asked Questions below for further information. If you are a school, workplace, or organization with multiple teams, please see the information in the relevant tab to further help organize your teams.

Team Captain Information

Thank you for taking on the role of Team Captain

  • Your first task to get your team organized. Five people are ideal. You will find instructions in the FAQs if your team is less than or more than five.
  • Everyone needs to register in order to receive the weekly informational e-mail. If someone does not have an e-mail address, they can still be part of your team, with their information kept by you and their miles reported by you. You may also share with them any information they are interested in seeing from the weekly e-mail. Register at Everybody Walk Across PA.
  • The team should choose a name. Have some fun!
  • You do not register your team name with its members at this time. During the first week of reporting miles, you will be sent a link where you will enter your name as Team Captain and your team name along with your first week miles. This is the point where we will obtain that information.
  • You can download the forms you need: Individual Mileage Log 2018 and Captain Log 2018 . Members can print off their own forms or if needed, you can print off enough of the Individual Mileage Logs for all members. Print the Team Captain Log for yourself. You will use this to track each team member’s weekly total, and then report your team total through the link that will be sent every week. Miles will need to be reported by Tuesday at noon.
  • Every week during the program, team members with an e-mail address will receive an informational email with articles and topics including: Motivation, Healthy lifestyles, County information and quizzes; and a link to the miles and comments reports from the last week.
  • Call or e-mail Karen Bracey 570-836-3196 or with any questions.

FAQ

Is there a cost for the program?

This is a free program but registration is required.

How do we form a team?

Gather up to five family or friends who are interested in developing healthier habits. Choose a team captain (who will need to have e-mail access), pick a team name, and register. Each person will register online. Your team will need to know who your Team Captain is and choose a team name but this will not need to be part of your registration. There will be instructions to report this with your first weeks miles.

Will I be getting e-mails?

Yes. All registered participants with e-mail addresses will receive a weekly email directly. It will include links to the educational information and highlights of the cities we are visiting. Each email will be sent on Monday before noon.

What does the team captain do?

Each team will need to have a Team Captain. Members will report their miles to their Team Captain who will be the person submitting the team total each week. A link will be sent in each email for the Team Captains to submit their name, their team name and the total number of team miles walked. The first week they will also list the team members.

A team member does not have computer access. What do we do?

The Team Captain will need to have at least weekly access to a computer in order to submit miles walked. If a member does not have access, they still report their miles to the team captain. Another team member may choose to show them the online information or print it out for them as appropriate. They may also visit their local Extension office to have any of the information printed out.

I can only find 4 people for my team.

If you have less than 5 people on your team, average the miles walked by your team members for the week, and use that average to fill in your empty spots and then report your total. It will then be as if you have 5 people on your team.

We have 6 people on our team. How do we report our miles?

You may want to have two teams and follow the above instructions for teams less than five or try to recruit a few more members.

What if we don't walk 50 miles in a week?

The goal of this program is for every participant to try to walk at least 10 miles per week. Some will do much more than that and others will struggle to get in less than that. Do your best, report what you walk, and keep working to improve.

How do I keep track of my miles?

Download the Individual Mileage Log 2018 . Print it out and keep it handy to track your miles. If you cannot print the forms, they may be picked up at your local Extension office.

Will there be prizes for the most miles walked?

This is not a competitive event. Everyone is starting at a different place with their abilities and this is a way to get everyone moving and improving upon their own efforts. Team's actual miles walked will be listed by county each week. You can certainly have some friendly competition at your work site or with other teams.

Do we need to walk as a team?

No. Everyone can walk on their own and at their own time. You don't even need to live by each other. Of course if you want to walk as a team, that's great! Either way, just let your team captain know how many miles you walked for that week on Monday.

Do we walk on the weekly route?

You do not have to walk in any specific area. We highlight beautiful areas in our state so participants can learn about them and maybe take advantage of them as their schedules allow.

I do other exercise. Can i count it as miles?

Yes, there is an exercise conversion chart that you can use in the Exercise Equivalent section.

I use a fitness tracker, how do I count my steps?

Remember - we are tracking walking or exercise not activity that is part of your regular day - such as steps walked while at work. If you use a Fitness Tracker - that's great, and you can use it to calculate your walking. Note the number of steps taken on your walk and divide that by 2000 to get the number of miles. (There are approximately 2000 steps in a mile.)

Will there be T-shirts available?

We will not have T-shirts available. If you would like to promote team spirit, there are many outlets where you can have small numbers of shirts printed for your team members. We will provide an Everybody Walk Across PA image if you want to use this for your shirts.

Why are we doing this?

Most people know that they should increase their physical activity and develop healthier eating habits. Most people also struggle with meeting these goals. By building in a little social support and a little fun, you might be off to a great start. Hopefully by the end of this 8 week program you will be in the habit of exercising, and recognizing the benefits of physical activity as well as healthier eating habits.

Forms

Download the Individual Mileage Log 2018 and Captain Log 2018 forms.

Worksites and Organizations

Many workplaces use the Everybody Walk PA program as part of their wellness plan, or just as a way for everyone to get moving and get together as the weather get nicer. Here are some tips to help with any organization that has multiple teams.

  • Each team can have its own captain, or one person can serve as the captain for all teams. In the latter case, the captain would be the 5th person on each team and their miles would go into each team’s weekly total. When naming your teams and reporting your miles, put the same prefix for all teams so they can easily be grouped together in the mileage reports. Example - WYEXT Forced Marchers; WYEXT Happy Hikers; WYEXT Wyoming Walkers….. or WYEXT 1; WYEXT 2; WYEXT 3…..
  • Regardless of how you structure your teams, it is helpful to have one point person for your organization who can help answer questions or coordinate internal activities. Many companies make this into a bigger program and provide incentives, friendly competition, and additional wellness programs during the eight weeks. This makes for more fun, motivation, and education opportunities, but it does need some planning.Here are a few tips to help you add your own spin to the program.
  • We do not reward for the most miles walked because people are not starting out at the same level. We have marathon runners and those who are excited to get up to a two mile walk for the first time. Both are working to improve, but comparing number of miles walked in a week is not a good indicator of each individual’s accomplishment. Competition can also work against the goal if individuals or teams take it too far. If you choose to do a competitive program, make sure your rules are clear and everyone knows what they are, what counts as reportable miles, and how involved you want to be in enforcing these rules. We cannot help monitor miles other than to repeat our guideline: Only miles walked for the sake of exercise or activities done outside of your normal daily activity level are to be counted. Fitness trackers can be helpful to measure your exercise miles but should not be used to report all steps taken in a day.
  • Even if comparing and charting team miles, many companies find using a random reward system for those involved works better. They put the names of all people who participated that week and do a random drawing for their incentives. You know your workplace best, so think about what will be the most fun and motivational for your group.
  • We do not provide T-shirts, but many teams or companies order their own. They use their company names and logos, or that of their team, and some create a design for each year.

Youth and Schools

Please be sure each team has an adult Team Captain. Youth do not need to register. If you are a family team, you can share information with your children. If you are a classroom, this can be done as a group activity once a week.

School teams

  • If you want to create “Classroom Teams” with more than 5 members you can do that. You will need to obtain a weekly average team total for reporting - The total number of miles walked divided by number of students. Multiply that average by 5 (number of team members on other teams) and you will have a comparable number to log into the system.
  • Regardless of how you structure your teams, it is helpful to have one point person for your organization who can help answer questions and coordinate internal activities.
  • To report your team miles, start each team name with your school name so they can be listed together. For example, PASCHOOL Class Walkers; PASCHOOL Classroom Runners; PASCHOOL Teachers;..... The Individual Mileage Log 2018 can be printed off for each student to complete and track their miles or you can create your own form. There is an exercise equivalent chart, located under this heading which you can use to convert recess and gym class into miles.
  • You can use the weekly e-mail as a class activity by going over the information in a group, expanding on topics of interest and learning about the destinations being virtually visited.
  • We do not provide prizes or incentives for the most miles walked, as everyone is starting from a different level of ability. We want participants to improve their own level of activity and not get caught up in comparing themselves to others.
  • Some organizations create their own internal “friendly competition”. If you choose to do this, please consider all angles of how it will work. Other organizations have had success creating a chart to track the teams miles walked but instead of prizes given for most walked; they do a weekly random drawing of all participants for a prize incentive.

Exercise Equivalents

The primary goal of Everybody Walk Across PA is to encourage people to participate in regular activity to increase overall health. The exercise equivalents were developed so participants who enjoy activities in addition to walking can log credit for those different activities.

Remember we are counting purposeful walking/exercise - not the number of steps in an average day.

  • You may log 1 mile for 20 minutes of any exercise that makes you breathe hard and sweat.
  • You may log 1 mile for 15 minutes of any continuous exercise that makes you breathe very hard and perspire heavily.
  • You can use a pedometer or fitness tracker to track your distance based on number of steps. Divide the number of steps recorded on your walk by 2000 to get the number of miles as approximately 2000 steps equals one mile.

Although competition with others is an excellent motivator, we encourage people to participate in Everybody Walk Across PA to enjoy the many benefits of exercise at their own pace and at their own level.

Some Examples of Exercise Equivalents

Activity

Actual Miles

Recorded Miles

Walking1 mile =1 mile
Running1 mile =1 mile
Cycling/Mountain Biking3 miles =1 mile
Spinning15 minutes =1 mile
Aerobics (moderate intensity)20 minutes =1 mile
Stairmaster15 minutes =1 mile
Roller Blading3 miles =1 mile
Swimming1 mile =1 mile
Volleyball45 minutes =1 mile
Gardening30 minutes =1 mile
Basketball20 minutes =1 mile
Dancing fast (social)30 minutes =1 mile
Raking leaves30 minutes =1 mile
Water Aerobics20 minutes =1 mile
Wheeling self in wheelchair30 minutes =1 mile
Wheelchair basketball20 minutes =1 mile
Stair Walking20 minutes =1 mile
Horseback Riding1 mile =1 mile
Yoga30 minutes =1 mile
Strength training30 minutes =1 mile

Authors

Family Living Youth Development/4-H Nutrition

More by Karen Bracey