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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Congratulations on joining the “Hawaiian Island Trek” Challenge. If there are any other questions please do not hesitate to contact us. New questions will be uploaded as problems arise. Good luck on your adventure through Hawaii! 
 
Who do I contact if I have trouble?
Mike Knights
 - Phone: (250) - 550 - 3669
 - E-mail: mknights@vernon.ca
 
What is Steps Out?
It is an independent walking program committed to motivate participants to get active and promote healthy living. You can also enter more than 60 other activities which will also be converted to steps.

How do I sign up?
Fill out the registration form at the Vernon Rec Centre and pay the registration fee, its that simple!
 
How do I activate my Account?
First visit the Vernon Rec Centre or Wesbild center and pay the registration fee. You will then receive a Registration ID.
Next visit the Vernon Steps out Website (www.vernonstepsout.ca) and click First time logging in - Register here.
You will then need to fill out all of your personal information and registration ID as well as creating a user name and password which will be used everytime you visit the site.
You must then read the Par-Q by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page and check the box.
Then submit your information and your account is activated!
Now use your username and password to log in.
 
 
How do I Cancel My Account?
Send an email to support@stepsout.com. Make sure you tell us your username and password or first and last name.
 
Why can't I see the Popups?
The most common reason is something is blocking the popups, it could be a setting on your computer that blocks them, or you could have a search bar like "Google Toolbar" running that is blocking it. Some anti-virus programs may also block it. We have provided you with a map and at the top of the map, current pop-ups can be viewed. Simply click on the link and the pop-ups will show for you, and if you have seen them all, you won't have the link.
 
Why am I not getting reminder emails?
You need to edit your user information from your map page and click on the box that indicates you would like email from Steps Out. You get there by clicking the "Edit User" link on the right side of your map.

How do I get you to stop sending me emails?
You need to edit your user information from your map page and uncheck  the box that indicates you would like email from Steps Out. You get there by clicking the "Edit User" link on the right side of your map.

What is the BMI?
This is your Body Mass Index. The calculation of Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body mass based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women. Your personal BMI can be calculated using the BMI calculator on the Maps pages, simply click on the Personal Health tracker and enter your height and weight.
*Remember that BMI does not take in to account amount of fat versus muscle so the outcome isn't necessarily 100% accurate. Muscle weighs more than fat so people with a higher muscle mass will receive a higher BMI which may fall in the overweight or obese category however this would not be accurate. Always take in to account what you know about your body.
*Normal values and a calculator are available at the following website: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
 

LOGGING YOUR STEPS:

How do I log my steps?
The easiest way to record and track your steps is to log in daily or weekly at www.vernonstepsout.ca

You must begin by activating your online Steps Out account. You must each create a personal username and password and choose a starting date for your step updates.

What if I have a lot of saved-up steps? How can I post them?
For security reasons, the program is not designed for the entry of massive step numbers. It is a log program geared for daily entries of 1 - 50,000 steps.. You are not limited in how many step entries you make when you visit your map page. Remember, you cannot post steps for days earlier than your selected start date.

If you have a large number of steps saved up and wish to post them, the best option is to enter each daily total and select the day it applies to using the "steps for the day of..." date-selection menus. This will make your Step History appear correctly. If you have a lot of days saved up, this can take some time but it is worth it.

Alternatively, you can simply spread large totals over a few days and ignore your step history. (If you do this, your step history will not show correct daily totals and the webmaster will not fix it for you.)

What can I do if I made a mistake and posted the wrong number of steps or wrong date in the update log?
You just click on the steps for the date you need to edit and you can change the number, or delete those steps altogether and re-enter the correct amount.

Can I log in once and enter more than one participant's steps on the tracking page?
Our Steps Out program works the same way as any email account, forum account, eBay account or other standard online profile does: One Username/Password = One Person or Profile.

To post more than one set of steps, simply do the following: After logging in and updating a member's steps, use the Log Out link to go back to the main page so that you can log in again with the next member's username/password and update those steps as well.

What if I enter my steps and I don't see a red line?
You should see a small red line on top of the green line before you enter any steps. If you don't see it, you most likely need to update your Flash Player. You have to have at least version 5 of Flash, if you right click on the image you will find instructions for downloading the latest version of Flash Player. You can download it here:
http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

What if I use a Mac Operating System?
The map should work perfectly as long as you have at least version 5 of Flash. You should see a small red line on top of the green line before you enter any steps. If you don't see it, you most likely need to update your Flash Player by downloading it from here:
http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

What if my pedometer seems inaccurate?
For best results, clip the pedometer on your waistband, 2-4 inches either side of your hip bone.  It is important to ensure that the case is positioned straight up and down. If the pedometer is tilted, your step count may be under-recorded because the pedometer's pendulum function is not free to swing properly.

How many steps in a km?
The Steps Out program considers an average step to be 0.762 meters (this equals a 2.5 foot stride) Therefore, 1 kilometer = 1,320 Steps.

 
If you have longer legs and/or a wider gait, you will actually be making more distance than the program shows. If you have shorter legs and/or a narrower gait, you will actually be making less distance than the program shows. Either way, don't sweat the distance! The point of the program is to get you walking and promote overall health. It is more important how hard and long you work, not how far you go.
 
When is the prize being drawn for the $1,000.00 travel voucher?
May 11, 2011


CORPORATE CHALLENGE INFORMATION
 
If a new employee would like to join our group how do they go about doing so?
Simple visit the Vernon Rec Center to pay the registration fee. Let them know you are a part of the corporate challenge so you get the discounted rate. Then sign up on the website following the intructions above, just be sure to select a group - the corporation you are a part of from the drop down option on the registration form.
 
How do I edit the three pages specific for our company?
Only the person who was designated to manage the pages will be able to edit these. When they log on and click on the group page, a blue tab along the left hand side will come up. One of the sections will be modify pages. Clicking on one of the three pages will bring up the editor and you can give the page a title and add any information you would like. For further instructions please see: http://www.vernonstepsout.ca/group_SetUp_instructions.asp
 
What should I use these pages for?
These pages can be used for any information you would like your employees to see. You can make one page for health/wellness information, one for upcoming company events, one for challenges within your workplace, and a variety of other things.
 
How do I see the group maps?
When you click jump to map, along the top of the webpage in green, the 3rd tab long says group maps. If you click on this all of the groups maps will be listed in order of how far the company is. This allows you to see how you are doing relative to the other businesses.
 
It says there are contests for the Corporate Challenge Package, when will these start?
The aim is for January 2011 as we are waiting for more companies to sign up so there are people to compete with. Be sure to check our contest tab for the most up to date information.
 

WALKING ROUTES AND HOSTED WALKS:
 
Where should I take my walks?
You can take your walks wherever and whenever you wish (please do not trespass on private land without permission). There are several regular hosted walks available to you in many communities, check with your community for availability. Remember, you should always walk with a partner if possible. The walk will go faster, be more enjoyable, and safer.
 
Where can I join others for group walks?
There is an outdoors club run through Lake Country which hosts numerous group walks throughout the Okanagan Valley. All walks are free but registration is required so visit their website to find out upcoming walks near you: www.lakecountryoutdoorsclub.com
 

WALKING TIPS:

What's the best time of day to walk?
It varies from one person to the next. Really, any time of day is perfect. In the winter, try to walk at lunch hour since that's the warmest part of the day. The fresh air revitalizes you for the afternoon; plus, you get a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun's rays. The real question is, when are you most willing and able to walk? That's the best time for you.

Should I eat before I walk?
Again, it varies from one person to the next. Definitely always eat something before a morning walk. But if planning to go at a brisk pace or to do some interval training, keep breakfast small and simple--maybe a piece of fruit, or some low-fat or nonfat yogurt. The human body doesn't particularly like digesting food and exercising hard at the same time.

 
That said, a leisurely stroll after a large meal may enhance digestion and burn a few extra calories. But walking before a meal works just as well, provided you don't have any problems with your blood sugar. If that meal happens to be breakfast, be sure to drink a nice, tall glass of water before you head out. Your body may be somewhat dehydrated after a night's sleep.
 
Finally it also depends on your goals of walking. If you are aiming to burn fat it is best to walk before eating as this will cause your body to break down your fat stores for energy. If on the other hand you are simply walking to stay in shape you may eat before or after a walk, eating before a walk causes you to burn more carbohydrates which is more oxygen efficient.
 
What's the simplest way to determine how fast I'm walking?
The easiest way to gauge your speed without wearing a pedometers is to count your number of steps per minute. The experts use this number to calculate pace, based on an average stride length of 0.762m. (Stride length is the distance from the heel of one foot to the heel of the other foot when you're taking a step.) They've already done the math for you:
 
44 steps per minute equals 30 minutes per km, or 2 km per hour. 
66 steps per minute equals 20 minutes per km, or 3 km per hour.
87 steps per minute equals 15 minutes per km, or 4 km per hour.
130 steps per minute equals 10 minutes per km, or 6 km per hour.
 
If you pay attention to your steps, after a while, you'll be able to estimate your pace fairly accurately without counting your steps. You'll just know what a 20-minute km or a 10-minute km feels like.

How many calories do I burn by walking a mile?
The average 150-pound person burns between 50 and 62 calories per km. However, that number changes depending on height, weight, fitness level, terrain, clothing, temperature, and many other factors.

If your goal is to lose weight, forget about the numbers. Instead, develop a healthy eating plan that you can live with, and incorporate as much physical activity into your daily routine as possible, and walk for at least ˝ hour a day.

 
When should I get new shoes?
Replace your walking shoes every 6 months or 373 km (600 miles), whichever comes first. At that point, it doesn't matter if the shoes still look great; they've lost a lot of their cushioning.

MORE INFORMATION ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
 
How often should I engage in Physical Activity?
There are some variations between people and the best way to ensure you are being healthy is to follow the Canada Physical Activity Guides. These are available for many populations including the general population, children, and older adults. See these links for the one that best suits you. They can also be ordered for free online!
 
Canada Physical Activity Guide: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pag-gap/pdf/guide-eng.pdf
Canada's Physical Activity Guide for Older Adults: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pag-gap/pdf/guide-older-eng.pdf
All other guides can be downloaded from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pag-gap/downloads-eng.php
To order one today: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/hl-mvs/pag-gap/order-commandez-eng.php
 
Where can I find out information on adopting a healthy diet?
Many fad diets advertised by various companies are only short term fixes while you are buying their foods or significantly reducing the amount you eat. The only real way to improve your dietary health is to adopt a healthy diet based on foods you enjoy and following the Canada's Food Guide:
 
Canada's Food Guide Online: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/food-guide-aliment/view_eatwell_vue_bienmang-eng.pdf
 
A wonderful rule to follow is the 80/20 rule. 80% of the food you eat should be healthy and based off the Canada's Food Guide including all four food groups and a variety options. However 20% should be the food that you enjoy so that eating is still satisfying in all ways. Don't completely cut out those cookies you love, or your favorite kind of cake on your birthday. Just watch how much you are eating in relation to you entire diet, try and eat within the recommended serving sizes!
 

HEALTH ISSUES:

How can I evaluate my fitness level as a walker?
James Rippe, MD, has developed a special formula to help walkers assess their fitness level. First, find a flat 1-mile loop. Warm up for 5 minutes, followed by light stretching (see Stretching page). Walk the mile as quickly as you can without running out of steam. Compare your time against the benchmark for your age group:

  • Under 30: If you can walk a km in 8 minutes, you're in great shape.
  • 30 to 39: Doing a km in 8 minutes, 42 seconds puts you in the "great shape" category.
  • 40 to 49: Cover a km in just under 9 minutes and you're at the top level of fitness for your age group.
  • 50 to 69: Doing a 9.5-minute km is excellent.
  • 70 or over: If you can walk a km in 11 minutes, 25 seconds, you're very fit for your age. If you exceed the ideal time for your age group by 3 to 6 minutes, you're not in the best shape aerobically. But don't worry, just keep walking. Regular, consistent exercise can lower your time.

    My hands swell when I walk. Is this a problem?
    Swelling in your hands is normal. When you swing your arms, the blood rushes down into your fingers. It isn't harmful, but it could be uncomfortable, especially if you wear rings. It's a good idea to take off your rings before you go walking.

    If the swelling bothers you, try squeezing your hands into fists from time to time while you walk. This helps push blood back from the fingers. Some people carry small rubber balls to squeeze.

    Help! I'm having pain in the front of my lower legs. What is it?
    It sounds like shin splints, a common problem among beginning walkers. It results from doing too much too soon. Your shin and calf muscles cramp from overuse, and you notice a burning pain in your shins.

    To avoid shin splints, increase your distance and pace gradually, and always take time to warm up before doing any speed work. If you've already overdone it, try slowing your pace. If you're still in pain, try stretching your calf muscles. Stand facing the nearest wall or tree, then lean forward, putting your palms against the wall or tree and keeping your heels flat on the ground. Another way to stretch your calf is to sit on a bench with your legs straight out in front of you, and flex your feet toward you. Still in pain? Get home as quickly as possible and apply ice for 15 minutes. Be sure to wrap the ice in a towel, to protect your skin from the cold.

    I have heel pain. What should I do?
    Heel pain becomes increasingly common with age, especially among the over-40 crowd. Often, it results from a condition called plantar fasciitis --that's inflammation of the plantar fascia, a sheath of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. As this tissue becomes overstretched and inflamed, it produces sharp pain, especially first thing in the morning when you get out of bed. The pain eases as you walk around, but it can come back, especially if you sit for a long time.

     
    As you get older, your body's tissues become less pliable. That's why stretching is so important. For heel pain, stretching your calf muscles may help. If it doesn't, you may need better walking shoes or special shoe inserts (called orthotics) to keep your ankles from rolling inward (overpronating), which may overstretch and inflame the plantar fascia.
     
    If simple stretching doesn't relieve your pain within a week or two, schedule an appointment with a podiatrist. You need to find out what's causing your pain.
     
    Whatever the source of your heel pain, it needs time to heal. Just be patient. Your podiatrist may want to give you cortisone shots, but they're only a temporary solution. Getting them repeatedly may cause tissue damage over time. * Remember, when in doubt see your doctor.
     
    How can I avoid blisters?
    A bad case of blisters can knock beginning walkers right off their feet. More experienced walkers who step up their workouts or switch to hiking can encounter blister problems, as well. Here's how to keep your feet blister-free:
     
    When you feel a "hot spot" on your foot, act immediately. Take off your shoe and apply moleskin or an adhesive bandage over the affected area. Make sure that your shoes fit both feet; often one foot is larger than the other. The friction created by wearing the wrong-size shoes--whether it's too small or too large--can lead to blisters. Wear high-tech socks made from fibres that wick away moisture. Skip the cotton, look for synthetic blends such as CoolMax or Wonderspun.
     
     
    **This site is subject to change without notice.
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