Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Challenge" Yourself!

“Challenge” Yourself

                There are a lot of different ways that we can challenge ourselves on a daily basis to promote a better version of the person we wish to become.  Social support networks (buddy systems), internet and phone app tracking systems, and our own intrinsic determination to simply be our best are all tools that can work to give us the push we need to maintain healthy activity levels.

                On June 21, 2011, I joined the Get Healthy program as part of the Kaplan Health and Wellness team and was introduced to the President’s Challenge. It was one of the ways for staff and students alike to practice what we preach as Health and Wellness advocates.  For those of you who are not familiar with the President’s Challenge, it is a personal quest that you can set for yourself so that you stay active each and every day. It is a program that is geared toward accumulating activity in 5 minute increments that are assigned points based on the caloric output that you have when completing the activity. For example, if I weight train for 60 minutes vigorously, I will earn 348 points, whereas 60 minutes of gardening is worth 290 points. Even if I clean my house, which we all have the pleasure of doing regularly, I can earn points. The following point totals earn their respective medals: 1) 40,000 = Bronze, 2) 90,000 = Silver, 3) 160,000 = Gold, and 4) 1,000,000 = Platinum (the highest award recognized for an adult in this tracking system). When you earn the Platinum award,  your name goes into the website database and you receive a t-shirt and certificate indicating your accomplishment. Then, you get to start the entire process over again working toward your next million points :)  

                Although I am active every day with a variety of exercise-based (lifting weights, biking, kayaking) as well as necessity-based behaviors (cutting and hauling wood, lawn and garden, household chores), I found the President’s Challenge to be a terrific tool to help show me how active I really was despite having numerous other responsibilities that needed to be fulfilled. The President’s challenge helped me stay the course I set and make significant strides toward my own maintained and improved health.  It can be a highly motivating method of self-monitoring that keeps things in a realistic perspective, allows you to be recognized for your hard work, and simultaneously improves your health.

                There is no time like the present, so here is the link to get you started on a healthier you: 

Mark Maule
Health and Wellness Instructor


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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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