On November 1, Mike Schatzki, MPA, CSP and the self-confessed “Recovering Couch Potato” delivered a virtual version of his Get Fit through Walking program to Somerset County Library System employees.
Get Fit through Walking is one of several transportation-related sustainability, safety and wellness programs that align with RideWise’s mission to connect people to safe and sustainable travel options. Since 2018, Leanne McGowan, Director of Business Development for RideWise, has partnered with Mike to bring this motivational walking program to Somerset County worksites and municipalities.
Based on his personal experience and research from fitness books and 200+ articles from medical journals, Mike deftly transforms scientific findings into a high-energy, entertaining program to help participants jumpstart their own “No Sweat” fitness routine. This motivational presentation, followed by a 1,000-step walk, inspires people to get fit at their own pace, “sweatlessly”.
Before the pandemic, Mike delivered the hour-long program in person and then led participants on an optional guided walk – either inside their workplace or outdoor – to demonstrate how easy it can be to get steps in during the workday. Leanne and Mike created a 30-minute virtual version that worksites, municipalities, and community groups could offer remotely. The guided walk can still coincide with the presentation or be scheduled at a later date. Participants still receive a handout with all the research through the virtual presentation. Mike’s materials, including his presentation slides, are free and shared in the Creative Commons. To access these materials, visit Mike’s website, recoveringcouchpotato.org.
The evidence-based presentation is good for people of all fitness levels but especially beneficial for those who are less excited about exercise. Some of the topics covered include the health benefits of being fit, achieving wellness without weight loss and work outs, and using continued mobility as we age for better brain health and higher quality of life.
In 2018, the Get Fit Through Walking program was offered to Bridgewater Township municipal employees and residents through the Bridgewater Township Mayor’s Wellness initiative. It was cited as one of three public health initiatives that earned Bridgewater Township recognition as a “2018 Healthy Town to Watch.” In 2019, RideWise added a mindfulness component to further complement the benefits of walking.
Feedback for the virtual program has been very positive, and Leanne and Mike look forward to more virtual collaborations. For more information or to book a virtual or in-person presentation for your workplace, organization, community or walking group, email Leanne at firstname.lastname@example.org.