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Sign up for the 2014 Feetbeat Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 Feetbeat Challenge

The 2014 Feetbeat Challenge begins on 8 September, and with registrations closing next Friday, 5 September, now is the time to sign up.

Feetbeat is an eight-week walking challenge for workplaces, community groups, families and friends. Teams of four to eight people take a virtual journey around Auckland, New Zealand or the Pacific Islands by walking for at least 30 minutes a day to earn points for their team. Additional points can also be earned by taking family and friends walking with you.

Prizes will be awarded for best story, best photo, best team name and most distance covered by walkers. There will also be weekly spot prizes.

Feetbeat is organised by Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS). Medical Officer of Health Dr Michael Hale says it’s a great opportunity for people to be active and increase their fitness together.

“Each year an average of 250 teams sign up for Feetbeat looking for a challenge, be it getting fitter, walking a certain distance, or just bonding and having fun.

“Walking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Many participants tell us they carry on walking regularly after the challenge is over. Feetbeat often marks the start of many people’s journeys to better health,” says Dr Hale.

A number of businesses and organisations have already registered, including the Mental Health Foundation (MHF).

Chief Executive Judi Clements says the MHF has a weekly lunchtime walking group, so signing up for Feetbeat was a natural step.

“We have a keen bunch of walkers, so when the call went out to register for Feetbeat we had a lot of interest,” says Ms Clements. “I needed to get in quick with my registration to get on a team!”

Ms Clements, who is part of team Move Your Mood, says the walking challenge also fits well with the MHF’s Five Ways to Wellbeing.

“We encourage people to incorporate the Five Ways – Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning, Give and Connect – into their daily living to support their mental health,” she says.

“Walking is a good example of Be Active, and if you walk with friends and consciously take in your surroundings, you also Connect and Take Notice.”

While taking part will be the greatest reward, friendly rivalries are already cropping up between the three MHF Feetbeat teams, with staff eager to get started and clock up the most kilometres.

“My team, Walking on Sunshine, will obviously be the best,” jokes administrator, Keshlar Inglis.

The mum-of-two says her motivation for signing up is to lose weight and increase her fitness level.

“I don’t like exercising on my own, but if I have a team depending on me, I’ll do it. I want to lose weight and feel better, and this is just what I need to get started. I love a challenge, so bring it on!”

Feetbeat is open to all Aucklanders and is free to enter – so form a team and sign up at www.workplacehealth.co.nz by 5 September, then get ready to get up, get out and get active!


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