Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Challenge?

So, most of you know that our Helm family was involved in a Health Challenge for the last 12 weeks. I had a lot of fun, and I'd like to think that I was motivating others to change their lives. I know the other participants were motivating to me. :) Well, the challenge just ended, and I'm kind of sad. Kate and I were talking about starting up a new challenge. I've heard about people doing a "walk across America." This is where they keep track of their steps and workouts, calculate how far they've walked each day, and then charted their progress "across America." Well, Kate and I thought it might be kind of fun to "walk" from Lani's house in Florida to Jill's house in Washington, which, according to Google Maps is approximately (since I didn't have addresses handy when I was inputting the info) 3861 miles. Wouldn't that be crazy? What do you think? Would it take us the whole summer? Would it take us a year? We could go from Lani's to Gwen's (in SC), to Kate's (in VA), to Pam's (in VA), to Peggy's (in OH), to Matt's (in ID), to Beth's (in ID), to Penny's (in WA), and end up at Jill's. Those would be our "checkpoint's." We could set goals, like "I want to reach Gwen's by June 1st." Or, "I want to beat Kate to Peggy's." Using a pedometer, you could keep track of your steps you make each day, but since I workout every day, I think that should count. How about calories burned? We could calculate how many "miles" we walk by converting calories burned into miles walked. For instance, for myself, walking 1 mile at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour burns about 70 calories (this is different for everyone, depending on weight). So, for every 70 calories I burn I would get 1 mile.
Here's a table to give you an idea--

Calories burned per mile by walking

Speed/Pounds 100 lb 120 lb 140 lb 160 lb 180 lb 200 lb 220 lb 250 lb 275 lb 300 lb
2.0mph 57 68 80 91 102 114 125 142 156 170
2.5mph 55 65 76 87 98 109 120 136 150 164
3.0mph 53 64 74 85 95 106 117 133 146 159
3.5mph 52 62 73 83 94 104 114 130 143 156
4.0mph 57 68 80 91 102 114 125 142 156 170
4.5mph 64 76 89 102 115 127 140 159 175 191
5.0mph 73 87 102 116 131 145 160 182 200 218

Biking of course would count, but we would count every 3 miles riding as one mile walking. Or something like that. I'm thinking that Matt will set up some sort of bulletin board or forum for us on his server that we can keep track of our progress and motivate eachother.

What does everyone think? Is this doable? Is it something you guys would want to do? I was also thinking that we could have teams. Maybe families, maybe mix it up. So, maybe me and Jill would be one team, while Kate and Beth are another. Lani and Gwen could make up a third, with Penny and Peggy a fourth. It would be cool if Matt and Mike would join in (all four of them :) but you guys get the picture. I think this is something we all could do, it would motivate me knowing that you all are "walking" the same path as me. And shoot, maybe this is a way for me to "walk" across the country before I bike it. :)

Let me know! Comments are appreciated. Neices, Nephews, Cousins, Spouses, In-laws, everyone is invited! The more people doing this, the better. Mom, that means you, too! I know you walk about a thousand miles a day, so you would probably be ahead of all of us!

I'm going to do this, and anyone that wants to join in can certainly do it! I am fairly certain that Kate is going to join in. We'll probably start sometime next week. I'm not sure exactly how it is going to work, but we'll get the kinks worked out and let you all know. Email me or comment and let me know if you are willing to do this.

I love you all,

*UPDATE* We have a platform for this challenge. It is at . Anyone interested is welcome to join-you don't have to just be a Helm sibling. Let me know, and I'll "Invite" you to join our "social network," (I need your email, if I don't already have it) since that is what it turned into- a social network, just for us and this challenge. I'm actually hoping that it turns into something more than just a fitness tracker. I hope we're able to share with eachother more easily as a family and get to know one another better. :)


  1. Hmmmm, I wonder where you got that idea???? You guys are probably glad that I belong to such a healthy group of friends, right? Anyway, count Chad and me in, and Benjamin. And Matthew. With how many steps he takes just to get down the hall I know he will be the first one there, ha ha.

  2. Hey, no fair! With Matthew's short legs, he takes more steps than the average person. Wait, you've got short legs too! I bet that will help you stay ahead of me, with my slightly longer legs :)

    Thanks for joining in. It should be a lot of fun!

  3. This sounds awesome to me. I'm a little confused about all the details, but I would love to be counted in on it.

  4. Hey, I'll talk to the family. I'm sure Russ will want to join in, but just to warn you, he runs about 8 miles a day and usually 12 on Saturday. This might just motivate me. Just a suggestion, when you were writing about calculations, I was getting overwhelmed. Maybe keep it simple. A straight pedometer to mile ratio or plain milage for those who do a specific route.
    I do need to get going on this fitness thing since the last one didn't motivate me, maybe this one will.
    Thanks for trying

  5. Just to clarify, if you have a pedometer, great! Strap that baby on in the morning and keep track of your mileage throughout the day. If not, but you know approximately how much you walk since you go that way every day, that's fine too. If you work out and want to count that, great! Convert calories to miles, and there you have it. Couldn't be easier. You make it as simple or as complicated as you want. :)

    PS. if you have any questions email me!!