The City of West Chicago took first place in the inaugural DuPage County Walking Challenge, a first year event inspired by West Chicago’s commitment to its annual Move with the Mayor (MWTM) campaign that encourages residents to get up and get moving in the month of September.
Earlier this year, West Chicago Mayor Ruben Pineda invited neighboring elected officials to join him in raising the level of awareness for heart health in their communities by participating in a friendly competition. Among those who took on the challenge were Mayor Rodney Craig of Hanover Park, Mayor Kevin Wallace of Bartlett, Glendale Heights Village President Linda Jackson, and Glen Ellyn Village President Diane McGinley.
The campaign sponsored by Healthy West Chicago (HWC) and the National Forum for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, encouraged increased walking and featured socially distanced bonus activities including free online fitness classes and a virtual 5K Fun Run. A HWC Movement App which was made available to each community to track steps during the month, kept everyone motivated.
The final step counts are evidence of the success of this first year countywide challenge:
- West Chicago- 11,082,739 steps
- Glendale Heights- 9,934,121 steps
- Hanover Park- 8,245,767 steps
- Bartlett- 5,160,687 steps
- Glen Ellyn- 5,043,600 steps
With this level of success behind them, all of the elected leaders want to build on September’s momentum by encouraging their residents to continue competing the month of October.
A slideshow of photos submitted by community members engaged in heart healthy activities appears above.
“I hope everyone stays involved and encourages all of their loved ones to get going with heart healthy activities,” said Mayor Pineda. “Let’s surpass our September numbers this month!”
The following bonus activities will be made available to supplement steps taken through an individual’s regular walking program:
- Yoga Classes- Yoga on the Lawn and Virtual (2.5k bonus steps) – 4 total scan-ins per person
- Zumba Classes In-person and Virtual- (1k bonus steps)- 1 scan-in per person per class, 8 total scan-ins per person
- ARC Center – 201 W. National St. West Chicago- (1x week extra 1k bonus steps)- 4 total scan-ins per person
- Four park locations #KeepMoving Scavenger Hunt- (1x week extra 1k bonus steps)- 4 total scan-ins per person
- Blackwell Forest Preserve –Currier
- Reed-Keppler Park
- Don Earley Park
- Pioneer Park
According to Healthy West Chicago Program Administrator Carly Smitherman, many people who participated in the September challenge took time to share their gratitude for the organized campaign. “It was great to hear from the many who found motivation through the challenge. I hope they stick with a routine of heart healthy activity.” Below are a few of the messages received by Smitherman:
“Thank you for extending the challenge. This has been a great motivator.” – Glendale Heights Community Member
“It was great to join this campaign. My team and I had so much fun challenging each other. 🙂 “ – Hanover Park Community Member
“This challenge was a great way to stay motivated. Thank you” – West Chicago Community Member
“I’m from Hanover Park and I thank you for giving us the opportunity to join the challenge.” – Hanover Park Community Member
“The virtual workouts were great! Thank you for offering them.” – Glendale Heights Community Member
“This competition was fun, I was late to the game but it still kept me motivated.” – Glen Ellyn Community Member
“Thank you again for offering the challenge- It motivated me to stay active even on rainy days; I got on my rain boots and took a walk at Don Early Park for those bonus steps.” –West Chicago Community Member