The Town-organized Step Challenge began Saturday and continues to the end of the month, with Lord Mayor Betty Disero using the occasion of the third annual fitness competition to reach out to the community.
Beginning Friday in Queenston, Disero and her team, which includes CAO Holly Dowd, executive assistant Shaunna Arenburg and community engagement coordinator Victoria Steele, will visit each community in town while they walk to achieve their step goals and boost their Women in Wellness numbers.
“Anyone who wants to walk and talk with us for about two hours and show us their neighbourhoods is welcome to join us,” she said.
Disero got a good start over the weekend, walking at least 10,000 steps Saturday and Sunday, she said. She did it mainly by walking rather than taking her car, she said, in addition to walking her mother’s dog and doing some work in the backyard.
You don’t have to be registered in the challenge to join her team’s “walk and talk,” she said.
Designed to engage the community while promoting active and healthy lifestyles, it’s open to anyone who lives or works in town.
Participants register as individuals or teams of four, and steps can be counted using an activity tracker, such as Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch, a health app or a pedometer.
Steps can be recorded by entering them manually on the challenge website or by syncing a smartphone or activity tracker.
There are prizes to be awarded each week to an individual and to a team.
But Disero has added an extra challenge to those who participate. “This year, I want to challenge the community to collectively ‘walk across Canada.’ It is 7428 kilometres to walk across Canada, which is the equivalent of 14,856,000 steps. If 100 people walk 5,000 steps per day, every day for 30 days, we will reach our goal.”
All registered participants’ steps will contribute to the group goal, she said.
The Laura Secord Walk is another opportunity to add steps, she said. It takes place Saturday June 22, and follows the legacy trail of Canadian hero Laura Secord on her historic walk from Queenston to Decew, in Thorold.
Disero’s team members will meet for the Step Challenge Friday, June 7 at the Queenston Library; and continues Friday, June 14 in Niagara-on-the-Green, meeting at the Royal Niagara Golf Club; Friday, June 21 in St. Davids at the Warner Road fire station; Tuesday June 25 at the Old Town community centre; and for the final community walk Friday, June 28 at the town hall in Virgil. She is inviting community members to meet at 9 a.m. at those locations to walk with her team.