Bee Heart Smart Chellnge in full swing

The 7th Annual Bee Heart Smart Challenge is on again, beginning May 1, the program runs through June 13.

The idea is to walk, run, swim, cycle or just be active. Just over a week old, this year's challenge is already off to a great start. One of the twists this time around was the introduction of a Name Your Team contest. Following are some of the best names of the bunch: Anderson Walkers; Bookin' It; Bookmobiles!; Dust Bunny Wranglers; Gong Show; Health Science Heelers; I Can Do Bad All By Myself; KYA; Mahon Tracker; Registrollers; The Wonderous Wellness Walkers; Victorious Secret presents the Markin Chix in Risky Business; Walker's Walkers; WebGeeks.

The goal of the challenge is to promote an increase in activity and improve health through walking, running, swimming, cycling or other physical activity. Establishing a lifelong habit of physical activity doesn't just happen automatically. Making movement a part of everyday life is an intentional act. Let's make the conscious decision to be active everyday – but have fun while doing so!

How do you record your activity?

Walking/Running – Each step you take all day, every day counts. You can either record your distance or your steps. Prizes will be awarded for both.
Swimming – Each 50-metre lap you swim is counted.
Cycling – Cycling is measured either in time cycled or kilometres cycled. You can record one or the other. Again, prizes will be awarded for both.

Time spent performing another physical activity includes examples such as lifting weights, yoga, pilates or hiking, just to name a few.

You can enter your steps, laps, km or minutes weekly or daily on the Bee Heart Smart website (

If you haven't entered yet, you can enter or join a team at any time during the challenge. Enter as a team or an individual – the Bee Heart Smart site is open now on the Wellness website and Notice Board.

The Anderson Walkers (Katharine Winter, Cindy Matheson and Joyce Eves) are the Early Bird winners for this year (registrants who entered prior to April 21).

We also have some Busy Bee Champions to help keep us motivated. Look for entries from President Mike Mahon (the Mahon Trackers), Vice-President Finance Nancy Walker (Walkers' Walkers), and Kevin McFadzen (KYA) from Sport and Recreation Services (just try to beat his cycling minutes).

Also new to the challenge this year are weekly contests. They are as follows.

Week 2 (May 8-14) – Take the Stairs!
Week 3 (May 15-21) – Walk in the Great Outdoors, with presentations and walks led by the Helen Schuler Nature Centre
Week 4 (May 22-28) – Nutrition for Physical Activity
Week 5 (May 29 to June 4) – Fitness Funnies Contest
Week 6 (June 5-13) – Walk in to Work Out, Park and Walk

The U of L Bookstore, Sport and Recreation Services and AUPE donate prizes for the Bee Heart Smart Challenge. Thanks also to the U of L Wellness Committee.

Quick Facts about physical activity:

• A 30-minute walk burns about 150 calories. If you walked every day for six months, you'd burn off five pounds.

• Physical activity causes the body to use up glucose, thereby helping to keep blood sugar levels in a normal range. This explains why regular exercise is so critical, not only in preventing diabetes, but also in enhancing the health of people already living with the disorder.

• Regular physical activity helps control weight, reduces body fat, improves the body's response to insulin and strengthens the heart, making it one of the best things you can do to support your health.

• With so much time being spent on the job, practicing healthy habits in the workplace has become just as vital to overall health and well-being as living well at home. In order to keep moving on the job, get up to walk and stretch every 20 minutes. Physical activity stimulates blood flow, relaxes muscles and reduces stress.

I hope to see you keeping your heart healthy this year…and having fun while doing so!

Suzanne McIntosh is the Wellness co-ordinator for the University of Lethbridge

For a look at the Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.