Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top 10 Reasons to Do the Fitness Challenge

Students, families, staff, and friends of The Birchtree Center have set a goal to run, walk, ride, skip, jump and climb a total of 4,925 miles this April for Miles in Our Shoes: A Fitness Challenge for Autism Awareness Month.
 



We’ve all set our personal mileage goals and are tracking our progress by counting laps, using pedometers, running on treadmills, mapping our routes online, and more.  We’re asking friends and family to show their support for our efforts with pledges per mile.

All pledges go to The Birchtree Center's Family Support Fund, which underwrites admission-free Autism Workshops for families and helps fund essential educational expenses for local families living with autism who are financially challenged.

We checked in with a few challenge participants to find out why they chose to log Miles in Our Shoes this April.  Here are our Top 10 Reasons to Participate in Birchtree’s Fitness Challenge:
  1. Seacoast Sports Clubs has generously offered a complimentary month-long trial membership to all Fitness Challenge participants.
     
  2. Studies suggest that if you develop the healthy habit of regular exercise, it may help you develop other positive habits like eating better and avoiding procrastination.  It could even help you quit smoking!
     
  3. I set a New Year’s resolution to “exercise more,” but I didn’t make any progress with my resolution until this April, when I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to kick-start my exercise efforts.
     
  4. Walking/running/riding every day for a month improves your breathing and helps your metabolism, digestion, blood flow, and focus…  And after, you can treat yourself to a new pair of sneakers!
     
  5. April is a great month to "get outside and hear, smell, and feel spring" while getting fit.
     
  6. This is a chance for us to show our children and students how easy it is to build exercise into our daily routines.
     
  7. With my miles, I’m helping Birchtree get one step further in meeting the needs of local families living with autism.
     
  8. A growing number of families need our support: a recent study from the US Centers for Disease Control estimates that now 1 in 88 children in the US has autism and 1 in 54 boys has autism.  In other words:
  • In an elementary school with 100 students per grade level, it's likely that at least one child in every grade has autism.
  • In a high school of 1,500 students, it’s likely that 17 young adults have autism.
  • In a school district of 4,500 students, it’s likely that 51 students have autism.
  • In a Boy Scout troop of 60, it’s likely that at least one of the scouts has autism.
  • In a religious congregation that includes 50 families (with an average of 2 children per family), it’s likely that at least one of those families is living with autism.
  • In a workplace that includes 45 parents (with an average of 2 children each), it’s likely that at least one of those parents has a child with autism.
  • In a group of 20 grandparents (with an average of 5 grandchildren each), it’s likely that at least one grandparent has a grandchild with autism.
  1. Four Birchtree students have already logged 20+ miles each and many students have already passed the 10-mile marker.  If they can do it, so can I!
     
  2. Two years ago, my son was hospitalized with a fractured hip. As of today, he has walked over 33 miles in April for the Fitness Challenge. If that doesn't motivate me, I don't what would!
So far, 99 people are participating in the challenge.  They’ve logged hundreds of miles and have helped raise over $16,000 to help local families living with autism.  You can watch our progress and make a pledge in support of “Team Birchtree” on the event’s website.  To read news articles about the event, click here.

Thank you to our generous event sponsors:

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