One hundred miles is the equivalent to walking from Bloomfield to Norfolk and back.
The Santee Health and Wellnes Center has started a 100-mile challenge to get people of Knox County active and moving. Participants get 50 days to finish their 100 miles. That means a participant must walk or run an average of 2 miles a day.
Walking is a great way to lose weight and stay healthy, according to the Mayo Clinic website. “Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life,” Mayo professionals said.
The Mayo Clinic also explains how walking helps with preventing or managing various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Other walking benefits mentioned are strengthening bones and muscles, improving balance and coordination, as well as improving moods. “The faster, farther and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits,” the website states.
According to Fitbit, a popular step-counting device company, the recommended steps taken by the average person, should be close to 10,000 steps a day. That number converts to roughly five miles a day.
On average, Americans walk about half of the 10,000 step goal, according to the Fitbit website.
“It is easy to fall under that 5,000 step range, especially if you work at a desk job,” the website states. “It is more common for people to get up and walk around when they are keeping track of their steps or miles.”
The Santee Health and Wellness Center is in the midst of their second 100-mile challenge. Participants keep track of their miles with mileage counting apps on their phone and submit them to Joe Moose every time they walk.
Moose said any app that counts steps and mileage will work. He recommends Map My Run by Under Armor. This app tracks and maps your miles and also calculates your split times and your pace, he said.
Many other apps are available as well, such as CharityMiles, an app which donates money to a charity of your choice for the miles you walk.
The Santee Health and Wellness Center will reward participants who reach their 100-mile goal. During the first session, Moose said everyone who reached their 100 miles in 50 days received a new pair of brand name shoes. He said they plan to reward the second group the same way.
The health and wellness center’s role is playing motivator and giving incentive for walking, Moose said. He said many of the participants from the first challenge have continued their walking, they just needed the motivation to get started.
Sianne Schoenfeld participated in the first challenge and continues her healthy journey by walking.
“The challenge was just that, challenging,” Schoenfeld said.
She said the challenge gave her the right push and got her working out again.
“The challenge benefited me greatly, I lost 10 pounds and I love my new shoes,” Schoenfeld said enthusiastically.
The second session started their challenge June 18 and it will go until August 6.
Tanner Zach is currently participating in the second session and is nearly halfway through the challenge.
“For me, it definitely has the extra motivation of accountability,” Zach said. “I know I need to have it done by August 6 and I have to set myself up to be at that goal by that time. Which means making myself go out each night even if I’m tired after work.”
He works a desk job and said it is hard to get up and moving when he just wants to relax after work. Zach said once he is out walking, he feels relaxed and it helps reduce stress from the work day. He also gets an opportunity to walk his dog and give her some exercise as well.
The Santee Health and Wellness Center will begin another challenge in September.
“You don’t have to be Native American or even live in Santee to participate,” Moose said. “We have individuals that are from Santee, Niobrara, Bloomfield, Crofton, Verdigre, Devil’s Nest and Yankton.”
Moose said he and the rest of the staff members at the Santee Health and Wellness Center are hoping more people will become interested in the challenge, walking their way to a healthier lifestyle.