As participants begin the 165-Mile Challenge this year, they'll have a new app for the "Get Your Tail on the Trail" program, offered by St. Luke's University Health Network and the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L). This free community initiative encourages people of all ages and abilities to meet their personal fitness goals.
From May 1 to November 8, the 165-Mile Challenge encourages participants to log 165 miles of exercise, such as walking, hiking, running, biking or paddling on the D& L trails or anywhere they choose.
Logging miles and staying motivated has never been easier with our new app:
- Get exclusive content about nutrition, events and upcoming challenges
- Earn badges for your achievements based on your activity log
- Stay engaged all year round in activities and challenges
- Keep informed about your chapter and any organizations you are a member of
- Experience virtual tours of different parts of the trail
- Receive great prizes
To register, go to Get Your Tail on the Trail.
"Get Your Tail on the Trail" participants register for free as an individual or as part of an organization and log the miles doing a continuous activity for 10 minutes or more. While the program doesn't require participants to exercise exclusively on the 165-mile D&L Trail, it is a great centerpiece resource. The trail stretches from Wilkes-Barre to Bristol, Pennsylvania.
In addition to the 165-Mile Challenge that runs each May to November, there are special events throughout the year, including bike and hike outings, health fairs, history walks and more. Since we launched in 2013, close to 10,000 participants have logged over 5 million miles. Those who complete the challenge receive a reward. Past rewards have included t-shirts, hats, backpacks, and rain ponchos.
"Our goal is straightforward: To get people outside and get them active," says Kathy Ramson, St. Luke's Network Director for Healthy Living and Chronic Disease. "We want people to be physically active because it is one of the best ways to prevent chronic disease. There's a good deal of data that show that if you exercise 150 minutes a week, you're going to have better health outcomes overall."
Ramson said the program is purposefully simple. "If fitness is complicated, people won't do it," she says. "We make it simple because we want to eliminate the barriers."
One of the reasons St. Luke's partnered with D&L is that exercising outdoors has proven to be healthier than exercising indoors, Ramson says. "Whether it's the sunshine, fresh air or varied terrain, the benefits of outdoor exercise are supported by research," she says. "The D&L Trail is a fantastic resource, so our events and promotions also promote the trail. Even with COVID-19, hiking, walking, running and biking outside pose little or no risk, provided you aren't exercising in large groups and are keeping your distance when passing people."
For more information about the "Get Your Tail on the Trail" program, visit tailonthetrail.org or call the Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor at 610-923-3548 ext. 221. For more information about the kick-off, call Kathy Ramson, DNP, RN, CCRN, Network Director Healthy Living and Chronic Disease, at 484-526-2301 or email Kathy.Ramson@sluhn.org.