Friendship Village Walking Challenge No "Pie in the Sky" Feat

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 4, 2016 | Go to article overview

Friendship Village Walking Challenge No "Pie in the Sky" Feat


Byline: Ivy Marketing Group

Earlier this year, a month-long fitness initiative called "Tackle the Towers" challenged residents at Friendship Village senior living in Schaumburg to walk the distance of the major buildings along the Chicago skyline. Accumulating steps on equipment in Friendship Village's two fitness centers and on their own personal pedometers, residents joined together to complete the equivalent of 29 laps around the Loop. One woman in independent living walked 125,000 steps. A man in assisted living walked 29,000. Another, a 100-year-old resident, walked 12,000.

Developed and calculated by Nick Rivera, a Friendship Village intern studying exercise science at the University of Illinois-Chicago, "Tackle the Towers" grew out of several residents' desire to reestablish a walking program at Friendship Village that previously took participants as far as Oklahoma and California in total steps. "They really wanted to do this," said Friendship Village exercise physiologist Jessica Enriquez. Before the first step was tracked, 55 residents had enthusiastically signed on. "Many of them bought their own Fitbits to help them along. It was crazy how into the challenge they were!"

Instead of competing against one another, the seniors walked for bragging rights and the chance to throw a pie in the faces of fitness staff members if they achieved their goals. "We went too easy on them!" said Enriquez, who, along with her co-workers, set a target for residents of 26,608 steps per week. "When they exceeded their goals, we thought, 'oh, boy, we're going to get it!' I got a pie in the face for sure."

Pie tossing and boasting aside, the real win for residents was gaining greater strength, endurance, and balance. …

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