Teacher Logs 4,000 Exercise Minutes to Win Competition

PeggyLenfestBrookshire Elementary teacher Peggy Lenfest racked up more than 4,000 minutes of exercise activity in May helping her win the Brookshire  “Minutes to Win It” fitness contest for teachers.

The successful competition, arranged by Randi Topps, Brookshire Healthy School Team Leader and PE Instructor, to inspire teachers to get more active, was held throughout May and drew some 20 teachers.

Teachers were asked to keep track of their activity minutes which could involve individual sports, team sports, running, walking, biking or other activities. Ms. Topps kept track of progress and awarded prizes throughout and at the end of the competition.

The top three teachers logged in more than 8,500 minutes of activity collectively.

Prizes are always nice, but teachers said it was the competition—not the prizes—that kept them running, walking, biking and generally staying more active.

“Several of the teachers thanked me every week for having this contest,” said Ms. Topps.  “They said they didn’t care about prizes, but loved the competition to motivate them to spend a little more time exercising each day.”

That was true for Ms. Lenfest who had been focused on fitness all year.

“Right now I feel great (at least 10 years younger) and full of energy, but getting started on a regular exercise routine was challenging for me,” she said.

She said she joined the Crosby YMCA Wellness Center in January and started walking on the treadmill because she had registered for the Lady Track Shack 5K and needed to develop some stamina.

It was hard, she admits, but she began reading books on fitness, food addiction, and watching the Biggest Loser TV show which she said “gave me coping skills and the “I can do this” attitude.’”

She says Crosby and its programs were a good fit for her and said she found she was “more successful if I go from Brookshire to Crosby because no matter what is happening with family, I exercise first and then deal with home.

“My family has been very supportive of my exercise mission,” she said, adding, “the Brookshire family has been great too with positive comments, compliments, and praise. I have now completed 4 5K’s since February and plan to do the July 4th 5K. I am not a runner but can run and walk the 5K. Each 5K that I have done, I have improved my time. My more successful days are when I write down every morsel that I put in my mouth and write down the exercises I completed. It takes focus and dedication to keep track of everything but it is worth it.”  She said she has not weighed herself, but has gone down four pant sizes.

To stay motivated, Ms. Lenfest suggests changing up exercise types.  “During the week I still use the treadmill, but do more challenging levels on it and I don’t do the treadmill every day. I also use the elliptical, two different bikes, and lift weights. This summer I plan to use the rowing machine and investigate other exercise equipment at Crosby.”

Ms. Lenfest said she is thankful for the “Minutes to Win It” competition “because it motivated me to stay at Crosby a longer time. Sometimes when I had exercised 120 minutes after teaching all day, I wanted to go home, but I continued to exercise”

Because of the success of this year’s competition, Ms. Topps plans to offer more competitions in the 2013-14 school year.