Archive for the ‘Eowyn Challenge’ Category

In this exciting episode, our valiant heroine learns about on-line fitness tools.

#34.) FitDay and Nutridiary are on-line versions of the food/exercise journals experts often recommend you keep if you are trying to lose weight and/or up your exercise level. Some people can make these work for them. I, on the other hand, keep them faithfully for a short time and then become bored and ditch the whole thing. I also question the fitness applications of sites that essentially require us to plant ourselves in front of a computer. If we’re sitting still looking at a screen, aren’t we, in fact, being less active?

An on-line fitness activity that doesn’t get mentioned is the walking challenge. By counting miles or steps, you are able to track your progress along a map. Depending on the program, you may or may not have a deadline to complete your trek by. Following your progress through a real or imaginary landscape keeps you motivated.

Here are a couple that I’ve run across:

Get Fit on Route 66 requires you to register, but is free. You track your progress down–you guessed it–the historic Route 66 highway. For every minute that you exercise, your virtual car moves one mile down the road. A nice feature of this program are the links that take you to websites or photo features on the towns that you pass through. Downside: the database you enter your miles in can be glitchy. The site is run by AARP, but you don’t need to be a member to participate.

Walk the Last Great Race–without ever leaving home–when you roll with Boy Scout Troop 298 and the other walkers following the route of the Iditarod this spring. Idita-Walk requires you to pay a small fee ($10.00) in order to register. The proceeds go to the Nome Boy Scouts and you receive a logo pin if you finish. This is a walking challenge with a set time limit (between Feb. 3-March 18, 2007) and a goal of 1049 minutes. You need to do a minimum of 30 minutes of walking for 35 days. A nice feature of this site is that you can print off and mail in your entry fee as well as your finished log sheet instead of doing it on-line. There is also an Idita-Splash swimming challenge (a fundraiser for the Nome Swim Team) with a higher registration fee and earlier deadline.

My personal favorite, however, is the Eowyn Challenge, a Lord of Rings-based walking program where you can follow in the footsteps of the Fellowship across Middle Earth. It’s completely free and there’s no need to register unless you want to. The site itself is four years old now, but is still useful. A nice feature of this program is the “Milestones for Your Journey” on the Tools page. You can print out a listing of what events in the story are happening at the various milepoints along your route. You can also keep track of the number of miles you’ve logged on the “Milestones Celebration Page”. You do need to register in order to access the Milestones database. There are also fun features like Middle Earth postcards you can send to other people when you make your destination.

Words to the wise: 1) you will develop a LOT of respect for the endurance of the Fellowship once you start laying down the footleather and 2) expect the Lothlorien to the Falls of Rauros leg of the trip to take forever. I swear that River Anduin just keeps on going. And going. And going. You’ll be beggin’ for orcs to attack to break up the monotony.


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