Council issues fitness challenge

QUEANBEYAN City Council is challenging the community to collectively walk five million steps within two weeks. If successful, the council has promised to install a new drinking fountain in the CBD.

Healthy communities project officer Helen Skeat said the challenge is part of the Council's 10,000 Steps Program which launched on Thursday, April 10.

The 10,000 Steps Program aims to encourage locals to get active and take advantage of some of the great walks around town, Ms Skeat said.

"Walking is a free, safe and easy way to keep fit. Experts believe 10,000 is the ideal number of steps that a healthy adult should cover each and every day," she said.

"You'd be surprised how many steps you take in your daily life."

The 10,000 Steps Program is a permanent and ongoing initiative but the challenge will only run until April 23. Those wanting to participate can pick up a free information and pedometer pack from the Queanbeyan City Library.

Ms Skeat said she had already recruited a number of enthusiastic participants.

"We've had a great response so far. We've already had 100 people sign up including 35 people from the Queanbeyan District Hospital as well as walking groups, artists, mums with prams and members of the Aboriginal community. All sorts of people from the community are involved," she said.

"I'm very confident Queanbeyan can do it [reach the five million step target]. We need every one to get on board and look at their habits. You can reach that 10,000 steps by walking to the shops instead of driving, using the stairs instead of lifts, parking further away from your destination or taking your dog for a walk."

As part of the 10,000 Steps Program, Queanbeyan City Council has created a Public Art Walk brochure to highlight some of the city's creative sites. The self-guided walk is in addition to their existing walking tours including Jerrabomberra Paths, Queanbeyan Heritage Walk and Queanbeyan Landcare Walk.

The Public Art Walk begins at Morty the Snail and includes pit stops to enjoy the mosaicus and Queanbeyan Honour Walk at the Crawford Street Lifestyle Precinct and art works in and around the Queanbeyan City Library.

"We are hoping in future to develop more beautiful walks for locals to enjoy in Queanbeyan," Ms Skeat said.

To take part in the 10,000 Steps Program Challenge, pick up an information pack at the Queanbeyan City Library or contact Helen Skeat on 6285 6557.

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