Sign up for Walk to the Moon challenge

WALKING to the moon is today inspiring Suffolk to get fit, as teams from all walks of life sign up for the challenge. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING reports on the healthy challenge, that is free to enter and could bring you great rewards.

WALKING to the moon is today inspiring Suffolk to get fit, as teams from all walks of life sign up for the challenge. Features editor TRACEY SPARLING reports on the healthy challenge, that is free to enter and could bring you great rewards.

HERE'S how your progress will look to the world, if you sign up for this summer's most inspiring challenge to reach for the moon.

The Evening Star website will track the progress of everyone who signs up for the Walk to the Moon, with colour graphics and statistics that will be constantly updated during the challenge. You will be able to see at a glance if the boys are beating the girls - or vice versa! - and how far towards the moon everyone has reached. There are also colour posters, to display where your team is based.

Some of those who have signed up so far, include two teams totalling 50 members, from East Suffolk MIND, and Suffolk Adoption Agency's 'the A team'.


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Bankers at Ipswich Hospital have got together a team of ten. Participants are also registered from Jackson Civil Engineering from Sandy Hill Lane - their team is called JCE Spacehoppers, and Suffolk County Council will be represented by the Coppleshell Heroes. The Elmer family of six from Ipswich have also pledged to take part - and of course the Evening Star also has a team.

A pedometers and a wristband each, are on their way to you all.

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But there's still space for you to enter, because together with Team Ipswich, we are looking for a total of 2,000 walkers to join us on this amazing 240,000-mile journey.

The idea is for all the teams together to walk the equivalent of the distance to the moon in just 12 weeks. It may sound like a tall order, but really it's just a stroll in the park, a no-lift day at work or a willingness to get off the bus a stop or two before your final destination.

Walk to the Moon was inspired by Sport England's Everyday Sport campaign which encourages us all to take 30 minutes of exercise a day in order to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle.

Health experts say that by taking 10,000 steps a day you will significantly improve your levels of fitness. The average person's stride length is approximately 2.5ft long so that means it takes 2,000 steps to walk one mile, and 10,000 steps is close to five miles. This may sound a lot, but even the most sedentary person can manage between 1,000 and 3,000 steps in a day.

The free pedometer we will send you to take part, will help you record your daily step total.

Weblinks:

www.eveningstar.co.uk/walktothemoon

www.ipswich.gov.uk/sport

www.suffolkonbooard.com

www.suffolksport.com

wwww.everydaysport.com

1. Start by wearing the pedometer every day for one week. Put it on when you get up in the morning and wear it until bed time.

2. Record your daily steps in a log or notebook. By the end of the week you will know your average daily steps. You might be surprised how many (or how few) steps you get in each day.

3. There are many ways to increase your daily steps. Use your imagination and come up with your own list to achieve.

4. eg: leave the car at home, catch the bus and get off a stop early.

5. Start taking a weekly/daily walk with a family member or a friend

6. Use the stairs instead of the lift

7. Don't use e-mail in the office, walk across to see a colleague at their desk

8. Keep notes on how you feel, how your body is improving, or other changes you are making to improve your health.

9. If you are in very poor physical condition or at any point you feel that you are progressing too rapidly slow down a bit and try smaller increases.

10. If you have any health concerns seek your doctor's advice prior to starting or changing your exercise routine.

What do I have to do?

Get together with five to 30 teammates from your workplace or home.

Register online at www.eveningstar.co.uk/walktothemoon.

Appoint a coordinator.

Once Walk to the Moon starts they will be able to log on to the website and enter the number of steps you have taken. You will be able to see a totaliser which will indicate how much of the journey the collective walk force has left to complete.

How much does it cost?

Walk to the Moon is completely free to enter.

Is it for charity?

Not specifically, but if you do want to help a worthy cause let us know and we'll promote it.

What will I receive?

Each of the 2,000 participants will receive a free pedometer (step counter) and sweatband worth approximately £5.

When will it start?

Thursday June 15.

How long will it last?

If every walker does just ten miles per week, the 2,000 volunteers will complete the journey in 12 weeks.

What will I get out of it?

As well as the benefits to your health from extra exercise, there are great prizes on offer worth thousands of pounds for the most enthusiastic or inspirational

walkers. 1. Highest aggregate contribution. A major fitness programme for up to 30 staff at Profiles Gym. This pioneering programme is supplied by the Fitness Industry Association and is worth £8,000.

2. Most inspirational story (nominations by fellow team members). A weekend or midweek break at Center Parcs, Elveden, Suffolk, for up to six people (must be taken out of school holiday times).

3. Highest individual mileage contributor. The top two walkers will receive I-Cards to give them free access to Profiles Fitness Suites for six months.

The Cornhill in Ipswich town centre is due to come alive this summer, with a series of lunchtime demonstrations to show how much fun sport can be.

Every week a different activity will be performed to music, and you will be able to take part in most of them. Simon Talbot of Ipswich Community Radio has today been signed up as MC for the 12 weeks, as he embarks on his own fitness crusade at the same time.

Claire Parker from Team Ipswich said: “We really want to break down the barriers to activity, and show that you don't have to be sporty to take part. There is a lot of fun which can be found in the social network and support that sports clubs and groups offer.

“The days will also showcase the huge range of activities we have going on in town. I hope they will help whet people's appetite to find out more, and maybe take up the activity they try.

“There will be some limitations, but wherever possible we want everyone to get involved, because you only get the 'feel good factor' when the endorphins get pumping.”

Watch the Evening Star for more details on the following events:

June 15: Salsa fit with Dance East

June 22: Judo and Tai Chi

June 29: line dancing, and rehabilitation exercises

July 6: Gymboree

July 13: Ipswich Borough Council sports, and a health walk

July 20: Multi sports with Ipswich Town Football Club

July 27: Rock and roll/disco/ballroom/jazz dancing

August 3: Cricket, and a health walk

August 10: Stunt cycling, with cycling proficiency awards

August 17: Tennis

August 24: Coerver football skills

August 31: Sport for people with disabilities.

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