Take it slow in Get Movin’ challenge

I thought about joining a team for the Get Movin’ 2011 challenge, a 12-week competition to improve the health of Owensboro area residents, but realized I don’t stand much of a chance of winning.

The nuts and bolts of the challenge are as follows — Form a team of from 2 to 10 people, exercise daily (hopefully), add up everyone’s time running, walking, cycling, etc., and log the average on the Owensboro Medical Health System’s website.

The team with the best average in its category wins at the conclusion of the three-month competition that starts Jan. 1, 2011.

The problem with my situation is that I run about 4 to 5 times a week, 4 miles a day. I don’t go very fast, but I keep track of my time and always try to do better than the day before. But my approach to exercise would drag down my prospective team’s average.

For example, if I run 4 miles in 36 minutes on Monday, but feel great on Tuesday and run it in 35 minutes, I hurt my team by logging lesser exercise time, even though the faster run benefits me personally.

As far as the Get Movin’ challenge is concerned, I’d do more good for my team if I walked 4 miles a day because that would be about an hour of exercise, rather than a 35-minute run covering the same distance.

Better yet, I should walk 4 miles on my hands. That would take about 18 hours a day to complete.

But enough silliness. The Get Movin’ challenge is really directed toward people who have no regular exercise habits. Give up a half-hour (or an hour) of mindless TV, and that bowl of chips, and get walking. And the best way to do that is with a team because there’s camaraderie and motivation within the group dynamic.

Plus, Americans like to keep compete and keep score. (The challenge registration ends Dec. 12, so get moving to http://www.omhs.org).

For those who exercise regularly, keep doing what you’re doing, but you don’t need to try to “win” the Get Movin’ challenge. You’re already ahead of the game.

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