by Trish Adkins
September brings new beginnings to families everywhere. It’s a new school year and sports, dance and other extracurricular activities begin. It’s also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and around the hallways of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), it is time for The Million Mile, a month-long awareness campaign. In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, supporters everywhere join together to track the miles that they walk, run and cycle.
Running, walking or riding a million miles alone is impossible; but together we can make a difference during The Million Mile challenge this September. If you haven’t registered for The Million Mile, yet, drop everything and sign up! (It takes a minute and costs nothing! We want your miles!).
If you have registered and set your mileage goal, here are 10 ways that you can reach your goal:
1. Track your steps and log them often!
Tracking your steps is easy and ALSF has several options for mileage tracking, including:
- Link your FitBit and track the miles you walk and run all day long. This option is great for runners and walkers!
- Link your Strava account, which is perfect for runners, walkers and cyclists!
- Link your MapMyFitness account, which is ideal for outdoor runners, walkers and cyclists!
- Log your miles manually on the website! Look for the pencil icon and follow the instructions.
If you are manually tracking your miles, log in often to update your progress. The more miles you log, the more money you can fundraise through our new pledge per mile feature.
2. Sign up your pets (and those without email addresses).
Make those dog walking miles count! You can sign up your dog to track miles as well. Simply log into your team page, select “Register a user without an email address,” and put your favorite pooch on the list! Just use the GPS tracker on your phone to track your dog walks and manually enter on the site! Bonus points if your pup dons an ALSF bandana.
3. Keep recruiting your friends!
Individuals can join The Million Mile all month-long! Post to social media, share what you are doing with your running or cycling groups, send personal emails and text messages to your fit friends and keep adding team members! Whether they sign up on the first or the twenty-first, all the miles team members go in September count!
4. Meet the recommended step goal of 10,000 steps a day.
Everyone agrees: getting moderate exercise every day is the perfect way to keep your body and mind healthy! Aim for 10,000 steps, which is the equivalent of 4-5 miles (depending on the length of your stride and your height).
5. Walk and talk and then walk some more!
There are so many hidden times during the day you can get in some bonus miles!
Instead of a usual office check-in with your boss, ask for a walking meeting down the block. Walking your kids to the bus stop? Do a bonus lap on your way home. Watching your kids at soccer practice? Walk around the field while you watch. Have 30 minutes before dinner? Grab your spouse/neighbor/kids for a quick walk and talk to catch up on your day! Struggling with a task at work? Take a quick loop around the office. Find yourself at school pick-up early? Hop out of your car and walk!
6. Pedal to pile up the miles.
Walking and running are great ways to track some miles, but once you hop on the bike, you can exponentially grow your mile count! In just 30 minutes, you could cycle your way to 5 miles. So dust off your bike, sign up for a spin class or hop on your Peloton bike at home!
7. Walk every hour.
Set the alarm on your phone to buzz every hour or so and remind you to get up and move! By walking every hour, even just for a few minutes, you could rack up at least an extra mile or two for your team!
8. Train for that 5K/half marathon/marathon.
Seize the day (and the month!) and train for that 5K or marathon you’ve had on your goal list. Try a running program like Couch to 5K to help keep you on track. Enlist your friends in training and track their miles too! Check out local running meet ups to find more running buddies (and sign them up for your Million Mile team!)
9. Get outside!
Check out backpacker.com’s local hike list and find all levels and lengths of hikes right in your hometown! September is a great month to get outside—and find new adventures in the great outdoors! Not the nature-type? Well, then check out some of the self-guided walking tours that might be offered in your city or town. (There are loads of self-guided tour apps. Just check out the AppStore or GooglePlay!)
10. Let our heroes and supporters inspire you.
We are inspired by each of you—supporters, friends of the Foundation and childhood cancer heroes who go the extra mile every single day. Need some inspiration to push your Million Mile team over the finish line? Check out some of our Extra Milers, our childhood cancer Heroes and our rockstar SuperSibs.
Together, we will all find cures for childhood cancer, one mile at a time.