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Participant stories

Past participants have shared the following comments about the Step to it challenge.

older adults stretching outside

Creates better health

“In March I had been diagnosed with some health issues, and because of the Challenge, instead of laying around, and worrying, I made myself get out and walk, which improved my physical, and my mental, health. Even when I was feeling under the weather, I told myself a short walk was better than no walk, and usually, once I got going, I made short walks into longer walks. The fresh air and exercise definitely helped improve my overall health and mood. May is a good time to be outside and watch spring turn into summer.” 

“Started my first Step 2 It challenge in 2020 after I had knee replacement surgery in Dec 2019. Have since lost 65lbs and have joined each of the 2 years since. It’s a firm part of my total wellbeing now and I will continue!”

“I am recovering from a serious accident, and this was part of my physical therapy. Improved strength and balance resulted.”


older adults exercising outside

Helps well-being

“Thank you for providing an opportunity to encourage physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual wellbeing! I’ve already put a reminder on my calendar for next May.” 

“STIC helped me to focus on other things besides bad news (Covid 19). I always had a better perspective after getting done with my walk. The timing of the challenge was perfect this year.”

“I was able to increase my endurance and became much less winded with walking and activities. It really helped me mentally to be working towards a goal and just getting out of the house.”

“A way to help cope with cancer.” 


family posed outside

Bonds families

“My son and I both participated. He joined because I told him he could win Twins tickets. I joined because I wanted to connect more with my 7-year-old. We went on walks together several nights a week and talked about school and baseball. We loved every second of it (and he won Twins tickets!!).”

“My 8-year-old son who is crazy for video games got excited about doing this contest with his Dad and I. He was more active trying to get more steps than us like it was a game all the while getting healthier. We did it as a family/group so it also increased family bonding and less screen time.”

“My family likes to participate so we all feel like a part of the community and stay physically fit.”

“I signed my husband and me up as a fun way to track our walking. He is recovering from brain surgery and in treatment for cancer. We tracked his steps in May for motivation and to inspire his family and friends to be active. While there were a couple days when he was too tired from radiation treatments to walk, he still achieved over 150,000 steps in May. I am so proud of him.”

“My grandson, who is 8, and I, walked to and from school every day and walked to shop for groceries and only bought what would fit in our backpacks.  The conversations we have are priceless!”

“My Mom who's 92 (legally blind), myself who's 62 (disabled), and my daughter who's 26 all do it together. We challenge ourselves and each other. 3 generation of women keeping fit because of Step to it encouraging us.” 


friends walking outside

Bonds neighbors and provides social support

“Thank you so much for this program!  It got me and my neighbors out walking every morning.  We would have never done this on our own.”

“I walked daily with my neighbor and developed a much deeper friendship. We keep each other motivated and support one another emotionally.”

“It's not a big success story but it was a success to me - I kept running into a neighbor in the hallway/elevator of my apt. building and they mentioned that I must be going out for my daily walk - so I told them about the Step to it Challenge and they thought it was awesome!”

“For years I have formed a neighborhood team for Step to It. We have a very connected neighborhood, and participants can be blocks away from each other, but we know each other when we walk the area. It is a good feeling!”   


son and father walking on a trail

Provides motivation to exercise

“I enjoy participating as it encourages me to get off the couch after work to get my steps in!!”

“I was struggling to restart my workout routine after taking a few months off, and this was a great push to begin again.”

“When I saw how many "steps" gardening accounts for, it changed my attitude (positively) about yard work!”

“I have done this Challenge the past few years, because it always motivated me to do a little more every day. It becomes routine and is scheduled into my daily plans. In the past 3 years I have lost 30 lbs and feel so much better and healthier.”

“Doing the step challenge last spring motivated me to be active after having my third baby and kept the motivation going through to this year's challenge!” 


coworkers standing and stretching as a group

Creates healthier workplaces 

“This challenge is always looked forward to by my employer and co-workers. This year it motivated me to start the challenge strong by completing my first ever 5K! It was super exciting. I also got outdoors a lot more this early in the summer, instead of waiting until mid-summer to get outside. I think all of this improved my mood.”

“I was struggling to restart my workout routine after taking a few months off, and this was a great push to begin again. My employer made it a whole challenge divided into 4 teams and competing amongst each other was a great boost to win a small incentive they were offering. I have been regularly going to the gym 5 days a week and walking a lot more on the days I don't weight lift. So far, I have continued working out even though the challenge is over.”

“Our work team was at the top of the leader board throughout the challenge!”

“I participated through my employer, even though it has ended we are still walking twice daily! Great way to get up from our desks and get re-focused!” 


a young women walking a dog

Include your furry friends

“This has been a bonding experience with my dog, as well — she looks forward to our 30- to 60-minute walks as much (or more) than I do.” 
“I made it a point to walk my dogs every day and the bonus was how well behaved they were because they were tired.”

“When I started, I only tolerated 1 mile, now I’m up to 3 miles and running faster than my dog!”

“I was running with my neighbor and husband and our dog — then my neighbor and eventually my husband were unable to continue the routine each day — but I continued, with Airpods for Mother's Day, and my dog! Fun program to participate!”

“Thanks to my dog, is very eager to go for a walk every day, when I get home, he’s ready to go, he starts whining if we don’t head out for his walk right away.”