WALKtober geared to promote healthy lifestyle and fitness

Taking the extra step can be the difference between good health and excellent health. Students, staff and faculty are taking part in the seventh annual WALKtober at MSUM throughout the month of October.

WALKtober is an event that the Wellness Educators put on for student, staff and faculty to be more active.

“The standard has been set at 10,000 steps per day,” Lynn Peterson, Coordinator of Sexual Assault Services and Wellness Education said.

Peterson said that 10,000 steps is the golden mark, and that equals about five miles per day. While each person’s stride is different, it is important that each person takes that number of steps each day.

The event is geared at giving participants a low-impact form of exercising and the opportunity to better their health.

“It doesn’t cost you anything … it can be a daily walk to your car or classes, and you will increase the number of steps you take,” Peterson said. “It will lower your blood pressure, promote heart and lung health and improve your circulation.”

For participants to take place in WALKtober, they can pick up a free pedometer at Hendrix, and then start tracking the number of steps they take per day.

There are both weekly prizes and a Garmin GPS watch that will be given out for the grand prize. To be entered in the weekly drawings, participants need to walk at least 10,000 steps four days per week. On the days participants walk the required amount, they put a checkmark in the box. Forms must be turned in to Hendrix by 4 p.m. on Mondays and on Wednesday, Oct. 16 during fall breather to be entered in the drawings.

Each week there will be two random winners drawn. There isn’t a limit as to the number of times a participant can win. To be eligible for the grand prize, participants must meet the requirements of all four weeks.

More than 300 participants take part in WALKtober each year, and Peterson remarked that it is great to see the MSUM community taking part in the event.

Peterson said there are many ways for people to reach the requirement of 10,000 steps per day.

“Take the stairs, be a part of intramurals, go to the wellness center,” Peterson said. “There are lots of opportunities to walk from the Moorhead City Mall to West Acres.”

Getting people out walking and being active is the goal of WALKtober.

Peterson pointed out that participants don’t have to be on a team to take part, and that walking is something that they can do socially with others.

“It’s a great way to enjoy nature … this is a nice time to get out and walk and to enjoy the moment,” Peterson said.

With benefits of better sleep and lower stress levels, WALKtober gives students, staff and faculty the opportunity to promote a healthy lifestyle, while taking the extra step to a better lifestyle longterm.

WALKtober starts this week, and students can still pick up pedometers at Hendrix. The event runs throughout October.

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