This past June in Chicago during United Fresh 2019 Convention & Expo, the United Fresh Produce Association hosted a walking challenge, sponsored by Crunch Pak. A name was drawn from the top 25 steppers to win the grand prize of $1,000, but the grand prize winner and the top stepper were not one in the same. We spoke with Emily Perry of US Foods who took 86,992 steps throughout the 72-hour competition. “The United Fresh Walking Challenge really motivated me to kick it up a notch with my steps during the convention. I am a very competitive person, so it was great to be named the first place stepper,” she said. She also shared her motivation and how she was able to achieve so many steps a day.
Q: You had just over 86,000 steps during the competition. Very impressive! Did you do any extra activities to get that many steps?
A: Like most women planning for their wedding, I want to be in the best shape that I can be in. Over the past year or so I’ve been participating in many 5k, 6k, and 10k runs. During United Fresh I did wake up early to get to the gym to run my 6 miles before I attended the show.
Q: As this year’s top stepper, it was clear that you like to get your steps in. On average, how many steps are you getting a day? How do you like to get your steps?
A: I average around 25,000 steps a day, which is approx. 12.5 miles. Because I live in the city of Chicago, I take public transportation into work each day, so I usually get around 2 miles before I get to work. I walk around the work campus during my lunch break to get away from my desk and get some air. And then on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go to the gym after work and run for an hour which equates to around 6 miles.
Q: What motivates you to keep stepping?
A: Currently my motivation is looking good in my wedding dress, but it’s also to be the healthiest version of myself that I can be. My husband also runs and will be running in the Chicago marathon this October, so being able to exercise with him really pushes me continue.
Q: For you, is there a connection between physical fitness and eating well? Tell us about how fresh produce plays a role in your lifestyle.
A: There absolutely is a connection between fitness and eating well. I’ve found that eating a banana with breakfast helps ensure that I don’t have muscle cramps after running/walking throughout the day. Eating fresh salads and produce throughout the day helps to control my weight and to reduces stress.
Congratulations to Emily on this feat, and best wishes as she and her fiancé tie the knot next week!