Residents or people who work in 23 communities can begin registering online April 1 for the four-week Step To It Challenge, April 23 to May 20.
The challenge, which draws thousands of people who compete each year by counting their walking steps or converting other physical activity into steps, will be held in these communities: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Crystal, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Independence, Little Earth American Indian community in Minneapolis, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Mound, New Hope, Plymouth, Orono, Osseo, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rogers, Shorewood and St. Louis Park. Register online and get more information at www.steptoit.org. (Please note: All school registrations must be completed no later than April 23.)
In 2011, Brooklyn Park claimed the Most Active City Award for total steps at more than 101 million. Mound won the Most Active City Award for the highest average number of steps per participant at 365,362.
"More than 50 percent of Hennepin County adults questioned in the 2010 SHAPE Survey said they were overweight or obese, which can lead to serious medical conditions and chronic disease," said Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman. "The Step To It Challenge has become an annual tradition in many communities, and it's one of a number of ways we are encouraging physical activity and making it fun to get fit and healthy."
The Minnesota Twins are back as the corporate sponsor of this year’s challenge, offering plenty of incentives for individuals and organizations to get involved. The top stepper in each city will win a pair of Twins tickets and be recognized at Target Field during a Twins game this summer.
Additional Twins tickets will be given away through random drawings for adults and youth who log steps all four weeks of the challenge, with added incentives to schools that register the most participants by April 23.
“Involvement in the Step To It Challenge every year is another great Minnesota Twins tradition and an example of our commitment to community service,” said Bryan Donaldson, Twins spokesperson. “We’re proud to be a part of efforts like this that contribute to the health and well-being of people of all ages in Twins Territory.”
A number of registration and challenge launch events are being planned in participating cities. Watch for listings of these events on www.steptoit.org and in the local media.