Special challenges for the group can help keep it fresh and can be a great way to bring together participants with different levels of ability. Challenges can also help to gradually “up the ante” for group participants. Some ideas for challenges are:
- Provide group members with pedometers (some public libraries will loan them free of charge!) and encourage them to record their number of steps per day. Set a goal for total number of steps for the group—10,000 steps daily per person is recommended. Recognize the participant with the most steps over the week, or the biggest increase in total steps from one week to the next. Or connect with another Mood Walks group and challenge them as a group!
- Use a free website like Map My Walk to monitor how far your group walks per week, and gradually increase your distance.
- Display the total distance your group has covered on a map on a bulletin board. Set a group goal for the total distance you want to cover.
Conservation Ontario’s Healthy Hikes campaign campaign encourages Ontarians to spend time hiking in conservation areas and offers some great events that your group may be able to get involved in. As part of Healthy Hikes, Conservation Authorities and Healthy Hikes partners will be hosting special events at various conservation areas, such as guided hikes, educational talks, and other workshops.
Your Mood Walks group may be able to attend an event as a group, or participants may be interested in signing up on their own.
For more information about Healthy Hikes, including an Events Calendar, visit healthyhikes.ca.