I wrote several posts last year about the Virgin HealthMiles activity rewards program, including last year’s first ever HealthFlex HealthMiles challenge (see my preview and recap posts). HealthFlex is our UMC health insurance program.
Last year’s challenge started in July so I was caught a little off guard with this year’s challenge which begins Monday (4/19). It’ll be another 29-day challenge, involving at least as many people (around 3,000, at the moment) from all across the U.S.
There are fairly significant changes this year, mainly a much greater focus on the team competition with little mention of individual rewards (other than some healthmiles/rewards points). Last year, the money went to individuals (the top 50). This year, $500 goes to the team (i.e., conferences/organizations) with the highest average number of steps per person and another $500 goes to the team with the highest percentage of eligible participants who sign up.
I like the new emphasis on the team competition. Last year, our conference placed somewhere around 7 out of 30-something teams (if I remember correctly). I’m hoping we can do better this year!
Since last year’s challenge, I haven’t really known what my goal would be for this year’s challenge. In some ways, I’m still recovering from last year’s challenge (or more likely the things that have taken place since then, like going to Korea and returning with a second baby!).
I will have a couple extra challenges this year …
- We have two kids, both under 3. With two kids, whose nap/sleeping schedules aren’t always in sync, it’ll be a little harder this time around.
My biggest time concern is a 4-day trip to Washington, D.C. to visit the General Board of Church and Society as part of conference requirements for ordination, one week into the challenge. And the (old/historic) place we’re staying does not appear to have a fitness center/treadmill. That’s gonna be tough!
But I know two things: (1) I will view it as a personal test (physical and mental) to see what I can do, and (2) I am a competitor. 🙂
And having reached the daily limit (30,000 steps) every day last year, I’ll probably at least start out shooting for the max again. Funny thing is, if it weren’t for the daily limit, I probably wouldn’t do as many steps because I’d never be able to keep up with the marathon runners in the group (there were 2-3 guys last year who uploaded their 30,000 steps between 10:00 am and noon most days, as I recall; it took me all day every day to get mine!).
To reach my goal, I’ll need to get up extra early every morning and walk for 1.0-1.5 hours (while praying, reading Scripture, and/or listening to worship/inspirational music) and probably finish the day with another walk, with a fairly normal/active day in between!
I’ll try to take it one day at a time. It should be fun! 🙂