Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Resolving to get active? Really?

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, 1/16/2019

One of many electric bikes on display at last year’s Tour de Cape. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY

Same old promises, just a different year. It’s a lot like the movie “Groundhog Day”: fitness centers are busier than usual, the produce sections of food markets are fully stocked, and I’m guessing beer, wine and liquor sales take a downturn. Of course, all these and similar trends are temporary, thanks to our collective tradition of making New Year’s resolutions, pledges that are usually short-lived, no matter how well-intentioned and realistic they may be. But to help keep some of us from falling off the health and fitness wagon too quickly I’d like to offer a few events to consider.

One with the most potential is this year’s Million Mile Movement, a daily activity challenge facilitated by Healthy Lee that started on Jan. 15 and wraps up April 15. In past years it ran from Jan. 1 through March 31. But initiating something like this in the first days of January when many of us are still dealing with holiday eating, drinking, watching bowl games and generally trying to get back to a normal schedule (including getting visitors out of the house) seemed to set up even the most motivated of us for failure. These new dates should perhaps eliminate that problem. Don’t worry that you’re reading this at least a day after it started — you can jump in any time.

For the challenge, is participants log their daily exercise, either by entering them into an online journal or uploading them automatically via personal fitness device apps that are tied into Healthy Lee’s MyWellness website. Activities like walking, running, swimming and bicycling will be converted into steps, which in turn equate to miles. Any form of human-powered movement qualifies, including mundane stuff like dog walking, yard and house work, or just going from watching TV to the refrigerator. Progress feedback from tracking for personal goals, team rankings and comparison to others is an excellent motivator. There are no fees involved, excluding any personal device apps or programs one uses. Who knows, after three months it may just become a permanent routine.

Another great opportunity is the 26th annual Tour de Cape, Jan. 19-20. The 5K run/walk is Saturday and bike rides of distances from 15 miles to a 100-mile century happen on Sunday. The Cape Harbor venue is perfect for these events and it’s hoped that the weather will be equally so. This is a very well organized and supported event, thanks to Cape Coral Parks & Recreation Department’s experience and hard work.

Logging miles to train for the first Lazy Flamingo Half-Marathon and relay would be another terrific way to add significantly to a million mile challenge. This run takes place on the first Sunday in March, the same as Hooters Half-Marathon’s old date. (Hooters now sponsors a trail half-marathon and 5K at Caloosahatchee Regional Park that took place earlier this month on the date previously used by River, Roots, and Ruts.) The course for Lazy Flamingo will begin at its location just south of College Parkway and will traverse College Parkway, Whiskey Creek and McGregor Boulevard, turning around between Fort Myers Country Club and the Edison-Ford Estates, which is also the relay handoff point. Volunteers are needed. Email if you want to know more.

Finally, on Saturday, April 27, the annual Fight for Air Climb challenge takes place at Oasis Tower along the Caloosahatchee River near downtown Fort Myers. The venue will be open for training on each of the Saturday mornings in April prior to the event. Firefighters and SWAT members usually climb in full gear in less than seven minutes so most mere mortals should be able to make the ascent in less than 10 minutes.¦
- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group ( The Florida Bicycle Association ( is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.

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