American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

50,584,562. That’s the number of steps taken by the 300 staffers and 10 members of Congress who participated in the second annual ACE Congressional Fitness Challenge. Over the course of this six-week challenge, these folks walked the distance between ACE headquarters in San Diego and Capitol Hill nearly 10 times!

Each participant could track their walking steps along with alternative activities, such as weight lifting, biking, yoga and swimming. Winners were split into four categories:

Team Total Steps

                 Team Cartwright (D-PA-17) 424,960 average steps per team member

Individual Total Steps

                House: Jeremy Marcus from Team Cartwright (D-PA-17) 837,237 steps

Senate: Patrick Arlantico from Team Cruz (R-TX) 720,732 steps

Team Total Steps and Alternative Activity

                 Team Cartwright (D-PA-17) 346,705 average steps per team memeber       

Individual Total Alternative Activity

                House: Eladia Romero from Team McGovern (D-MA-2) 324,300 steps

Senate: Andrew Nguyen from Team Feinstein (D-CA) 312,770 steps

Offices were highly engaged in the competition and eager to race their way to the top spot. Representative McGovern’s (D-MA-2) office took to social media to share photos of staffers using walking treadmills, competing in burpee challenges and even braving the cold, New England winter to rack up steps outdoors.

“I have loved participating in the Congressional Fitness Challenge. Not only has it gotten us all much more focused on fitness, but it has enhanced our efforts to create a feeling of collaboration and common purpose across our four offices. Thank you to the American Council on Exercise for this great opportunity to harness our competitive spirits and have some fun together.”  - Kathleen Polanowicz, District Director for Representative Jim McGovern

The challenge even motivated some individuals to go above and beyond what our guidelines specified. Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA-1) reported during the challenge that he performed 500 push-ups every morning on top of his regular cardio routine for the day. Representative Hastings’ (D-FL-20) office decided to kick it up a notch and hold an additional walking challenge. Their challenge sparked some fun competition among staff, which resulted in the winner taking 539,224 steps.

ACE actively works to support, encourage and advocate for ways to make physical activity an easily accessible part of everyday life for all Americans. The Congressional Fitness Challenge is a time when we call on Congress to help us demonstrate the importance of physical activity by walking the talk. Getting active is a non-partisan issue—demonstrated by the equal number of Republicans and Democrats who participated—that each one of us can benefit from. We sincerely thank each staffer, intern and member of Congress who participated this year and hope to see you again next year.

 To see some of the fun from the challenge check out our Twitter account.

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