Walking the Walk!

by Jenn Montrose, Marketing and Technology Specialist- Human Resources

Henrico County Walks… more like Henrico County Sprints with the amount of support and teams that have signed up to be a part of this fun, Countywide fitness challenge. The Fitness and Wellness Division of Human Resources just received their 100th team registration! We were able to catch up with a few of the team captains to ask them about their experiences thus far, and how they plan to stay motivated for the rest of the journey:

  1. How did you get so many teams to participate in the Henrico County Walks challenge?
    • “We kind of branched off the Henrico County Walks challenge and developed an agency challenge. We had the support of Liz Stovall and as we talked about what we were trying to do she offered to come over and talk with our staff about the benefits of wellness and supported us fully. She brought over Liz Warden from Employee Health and they did a 30-minute presentation that got the teams fired up so to speak.” -Ed Martin, Juvenile Detention (six teams participating)
    • “When I was asked to speak about this program before school started, I took the information given by the program coordinators and made a slide in the PowerPoint presentation at a faculty meeting.  I talked about how cool it would be if we could walk the entire East Coast.  I explained how just walking two miles a day/30 minutes a day would not only make us healthier but also help us to our goal of walking the east coast. We do a pedometer competition in May (Health and Physical Education Month) and that brings out the competitive side of everyone, so this was something I thought our school would really get involved in…” -Len Weiss (Tuckahoe Middle School, nine teams participating)
  2. What are some things you have done to keep teams motivated to walk?
    Len Weiss and her team, ‘Making Tuckahoe Fit Again.’

    • “My team meets every day for lunch and as we eat, we talk about the things we have done to get our miles in for the week. We are all competitive people and we don’t want to lose!!!!!   I wish we did have time to walk together and I am hoping that we all can find time to do that soon. Another team captain sends out weekly emails to the team to encourage them to walk as well as log their miles in.” -Len Weiss and Townsend Duane
    • “We try to stay in constant communication as we all work in different offices within HR and keep encouraging each other. We try to get together at least once a week and walk as a group. Throughout the week we will also try to go grab another team member and just take a quick walk around the courtyard or through the administration building to keep up our movement.” -Patricia Witmer (Team Captain for CirqueDeSoreLegs, most creative team name winner)
  3. What is some of the feedback you have received from the teams since starting this initiative?
    • “Much comradery and encouraging each other. When you see the staff moving around someone’s saying I see you’re getting those steps in. Also, the competitive fun nature along with a little brash talk about being at the top when the dust settles.” -Ed Martin
    • “My team loves it, being Physical Educators, we do a lot of walking already, but we are pushing ourselves to do more outside of school.  Other teams are having fun.  They do wish that we could log our miles in earlier than the end of each marking period, so that we can see where we are on the journey as well as where other teams are too.” -Len Weiss
  4. Would you all participate in an initiative like this in the future?
    • “I truly believe we will. Hopefully this fun internal challenge will lead to more participation in events like this or others that we can make fit.” -Ed Martin
    • “Most definitely yes!” -Patricia Witmer
    • “Both my team and the other teams would definitely do this again!” -Len Weiss
  5. Do you see any positive impacts directly related to Henrico County Walks?
    • “Yes, staff generally feeling better and paying attention to an everyday activity that we do. With the challenge or goal, we’re doing a little more stepping.” -Ed Martin
    • “Most definitely…I am feeling better about myself overall and am starting to experience some weight loss. This program has made me take notice of how sedentary my life had become, and it is forcing me to take time every day and get up and move as much as possible.” -Patricia Witmer
    • “Seeing everyone walking and putting in the time motivates me and others to go a little bit further and get more active!” -Townsend Duane (Tuckahoe Middle School)
  6. Any other comments?
    • “Just remember to walk steady!” -Ed Martin
    • “I recommend any employee who has not joined this initiative to grab a couple co-workers and create a team and join in this adventure.” -Patricia Witmer

It is not too late to get a team together and join the fun! Head to the Power Henrico website to find more information on the journey, walking trails around the County, and what it takes to be a part of Henrico County Walks!