Think your workplace fitness challenge is a little intense? Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) is challenging the entire state of Idaho to a Fitbit step challenge.
Simpson, 65, told the Idaho Statesman that he lost 68 pounds in 18 months. He now weighs 207 pounds and is a size 40, and hopes to get down to 190 pounds — just five pounds more than he weighed when he graduated from Blackfoot High School in 1968.
Simpson credits his weight loss to his Fitbit, which helped him keep track of his steps. He walks an average of 5 miles a day and, in August, plans to climb 11,815 feet to the top of the highest point in Idaho’s White Cloud Mountains. Simpson won a wilderness bill for that and other central Idaho mountain ranges last summer.
Simpson would like the state of Idaho to join him in fitness goals. On June 1, he will officially launch the “Hike with Mike” Idaho Step Challenge, asking people to sign up to walk 2,963 miles in the next 12 to 15 months — the distance from the Boise Statehouse to the US Capitol in Washington, DC. Idahoans can track their progress on a website using a Fitbit or any other personal step-counting device. In fall 2017, participants can join Simpson in a 5K.
“If we are serious about tackling these growing [healthcare] costs, we need to start with our own health and the wellbeing of our communities.”
In a op-ed for the Bonner County Daily Bee, Simpson writes, “Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General issued a Call to Action that encourages Americans to get out and walk or exercise regularly. In this invitation, he notes that one out of every two U.S. citizens are living with some form of chronic disease that can be significantly reduced by increased physical activities.
“Consider for a moment, the impact it would have within our communities and families if we were able to reduce the number of avoidable chronic diseases Idahoans would otherwise experience due to physical inactivity. Through healthy active lifestyles we are able to improve our quality of living and save untold amounts of money on healthcare expenses. It’s no secret that across the country we are experiencing increased healthcare costs. If we are serious about tackling these growing costs, we need to start with our own health and the wellbeing of our communities.”
Would you participate in a statewide STEP challenge? Tell us in the comments below.