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West Salem School District creates some healthy competition

The "Stinky Shoe" trophy that is awarded to the West Salem School District Minutes in Motion team that logs the most minutes throughout the competition

The West Salem School District has a little fun of their own staying active every year with the help of Gundersen's Minutes in Motion. Minutes in Motion is a six-week physical activity challenge that promotes being active for 30 minutes a day. For the West Salem School District, Minutes in Motion is a perfect way to promote a healthy lifestyle for staff outside of the classroom.

West Salem School District's Wellness Committee, Balance 4 Life, promotes Minutes in Motion each spring by having the staff in their district compete. The four staff teams participating this year include: elementary school, middle school, high school and other district employees. 

Carrie Andres, this year's winner of the $200 drawing for the first 2,000 participants to register, takes part in Minutes in Motion on the elementary school team. "They have set up a little 'healthy' competition between our schools," says Carrie. "The team that wins gets to hold on to the 'Stinky Shoe' traveling trophy for the year!" 

While active during the day in her classroom, Carrie gets to bring the fun of the competition home. "My husband just happens to be on the middle school team, so each year we have a little extra motivation to log more minutes because we don't want the other's team to win," says Carrie. "Since we are both involved in Minutes in Motion, we make time to be active as a family. This year we are learning to make time to be active with a new baby!"

When the weather is nice out, Carrie and her husband enjoy taking long walks with the stroller. "We are lucky to live right next to the bike trail and love being able to enjoy the beautiful scenery! Hiking is also another family favorite activity," she says.

Additionally, Carrie and her husband find different ways to stay active. "My husband loves to play soccer and I enjoy walking or running outside or working out at home when it's cold," says Carrie. "We also love putting music on at home and dancing with our baby. He loves to bounce and dance!"

To keep the spirit of competition alive throughout the six-week program, West Salem's Wellness Committee provides progress updates throughout the challenge and has a drawing for prizes near the end of the competition for those who participated.

Last year, the high school team took home the 'Stinky Shoe' and currently holds the bragging rights. This year, Carrie believes the Elementary School team will be bringing home the prize.

For more information, call Gundersen Community & Preventive Care Services at (608) 775-4717 or email wellness@gundersenhealth.org.