Steps for Schools Walking Challenge Helps Senator Brent Hill Stay Active, Help His Community
Idaho Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill wrote a newspaper column in 2016 about how the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health’s Steps for Schools walking challenge pushed him and other legislators to learn about the current status of childhood health and to think about things they could do to keep children well.
Hill still agrees, but his reason for participating in Steps for Schools this year is more personal.
“I had some health problems this summer, and I made a commitment to myself that I needed to exercise more,” Hill said. “And for somebody my age (70), walking is a nice way to get exercise.”
Hill, who is in his 19th year as member of the legislature, is a busy man as the Senate Pro Tem. He didn’t participate in Steps for Schools the past few years in part because he felt he lacked the time to get the required 10,000 steps a day that would earn him money to donate to the school of his choice. Those funds are used for purchasing equipment that helps kids be active.
Now, Steps for Schools is helping the Rexburg native continue the healthy habits he needs to maintain his good health.
“It’s a mindset,” he said. “It’s walking over to the elevator and seeing the stairs and just doing what you know you should be doing. Even though you’re in a hurry, your health is more important. I think doing Steps for Schools is going to help me continue the regimen I already started and reinforce that habit. When February is over, I’ll be able to continue this healthy lifestyle.”
A part of that lifestyle is working out first thing in the morning with his wife. Some of those workouts include doing exercise video workouts that she prefers.
“I found out they are pretty challenging – I can work up a pretty good sweat,” Hill said.
Snowy, icy weather conditions in Eastern Idaho makes it difficult to walk outside. Hill is thankful for Boise’s milder winters. He also gets plenty of steps and flights of stairs in the Capitol. When he’s back home, he finds time to walk on the indoor track at the Brigham Young University-Idaho campus. He finds that he no longer gets upset if he can’t find a parking place near the store – he intentionally parks farther away to take more steps.
And Hill isn’t the only one benefitting from his active lifestyle. There are students at Sugar-Salem High School who will get $750 worth of equipment to help them be active, and of course, his extended family.
“It’s an example for my grandchildren,” Hill said. “They’re very active kids. We go for walks together and for bike rides. I don’t sit around and act like Grandpa. I want them to understand how important it is — all their lives, not just when they are 8 but when they are 80 — that this still has to be an important part of their lives.”
This will be Hill’s Steps for Schools swan song as he has decided not to seek re-election.
So what does that mean?
“I promise to keep walking, but I’m not going to run,” said HIll, who plans on spending a lot of time watching his grandchildren’s basketball games, band concerts and other activities.