Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has announced he will virtually walk from Washington D.C. to Boise during the next year as part of the Idaho STEP Challenge. Since 2014, Simpson has lost nearly 70 pounds using an activity tracker to monitor his daily steps. Simpson recently cosponsored H.R. 1218, the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT Act) which aims to promote health and prevent obesity related diseases by allowing physical activity expenses to be reimbursed using pre-tax dollars.
The Idaho STEP Challenge was created by Simpson as a way to encourage residents to get fit and healthy using data captured on a wearable activity tracker or pedometer. Individuals wishing to participate will register on Simpson’s website, and then keep pace with the Congressman as he walks across America starting on June 1.
“Being more active is not only good for you and your family, it is good for our country,” said Simpson. “Health care costs are one of the largest expenses our nation faces and if we all work on increased awareness about our own health habits, we can reduce these expenses significantly while enjoying the many benefits of being healthier. I am very excited to begin the Idaho STEP Challenge and I hope this fun event can encourage Idahoans and others to take a personal interest in their fitness and health.”
Similar to a virtual race, residents can participate using their own activity tracker or pedometer to track the steps they accumulate through regular fitness or exercise routines. Each participant will report their weekly progress on Simpson’s website.
The route begins at the U.S. Capitol Building, and takes participants through several iconic American cities, national parks, and spacious heartlands, eventually ending on the steps of the Idaho State Capital Building.
The challenge is expected to last approximately 14 months, and cover nearly 3,000 miles.
Frequent challenge updates, fun facts about the towns and cities along the route, links to healthy recipes, tips on getting in your weekly steps, and other information will be posted to Simpson’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and labeled with a #hikewithMike hashtag.
Constituents that complete the challenge will be invited to meet Simpson in Boise, Idaho next year for a walk and healthy reception. Participants will also have the opportunity to purchase a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol Building in recognition of their achievement.
The Idaho STEP Challenge is a non-partisan, non-political interactive event open to the public.