Yale Trail FAQ’s

What is the Yale Trail? 

The Yale Trail is a six-week online wellness challenge during which you’ll view some of the university’s most amazing landmarks as you record health behaviors and view postcard-perfect images and learn “bet-you-didn’t-know” facts. Build wellbeing habits that last long after your campus-wide tour is over. Challenge begins March 28 and ends May 8.

Register today!

How does it work? 

Each day you’ll unlock a new location along the virtual trail, earning points and Handsome Dans as you record exercise minutes or steps, plus active listening and no sugar-sweetened beverages. And you’ll get to answer a fun trivia question and learn about each location.

What is the goal?

In this six-week online wellness adventure, your Yale Trail goal is to aim for 150+ points by recording the health behaviors listed above. Aim for 25 points/week to achieve the goal in six weeks.

What health practices count towards the goal?

  • Physical activity — Choose an activity that elevates your heart rate, increases your breathing, and can be sustained for at least 30 minutes.

  • Active listening - is making a conscious effort to truly hear, understand and retain the information being communicated to you. It is listening not to respond but rather as a gift of presence for the other person.

  • No sugar-sweetened beverages - abstaining from any drinks that contain added sugar (juices, sodas, sweet teas, coffee drinks, fruit punch, etc.).

Who can participate? 

The Yale Trail is open to all Yale University faculty, staff, Yale College, graduate and professional students.  

How do I sync my activity tracker to my Yale account? 

During registration, you can select the option to synch a device or app to your Yale Trail account. Then each time you sync your device or app, your Yale Trail steps will be updated.  If you do not have an activity tracker, you can log your daily exercise minutes.  

Can I log my steps manually even if I’m using an activity tracker? 

Even if you have a device connected in Yale Trail, you can still manually record steps:

1.       Go to the Log icon.

2.       Under Log, click Edit (by Steps), then enter the number of steps, and click Save.

3.       To revert to device tracking, click Sync.

If I’m doing an activity that’s not accurately measured with a tracking device, like cycling, how do I count the steps? 

Refer to the Step Conversions tool under the Tools/Resources tab; choose your activity, then multiply the number listed by total minutes. 

Note: Steps per minute conversions are estimates, not actual step rates. Actual steps per minute depend on the specific activity, leg and stride length as well as fitness level. For nonstep activities, step equivalents are determined by the metabolic cost (higher intensity = more steps per minute).

How does team competition work? 

All virtual teams must have three to eight members (yourself plus two - seven others). Team formation closes April 8. The challenge ends May 8, so to have your activity count toward your team’s score, you must log all activity by May 10.

In this friendly competition, virtual teams challenge each other to see who can top the leaderboard. Although you can participate on your own, being part of a virtual team may be the best part of this campus-wide tour. Scores are based on the team’s average points and Wellness Wednesday challenges (one bonus point/team member each week). Each person’s individual contribution affects the team score and team members encourage and support each other along the way.

Why would you want to be on a team? 

It’s fun! Plus, joining with others striving for similar goals keeps you accountable — and doubles your chances of success. So start or join a virtual team with members near or far — the most important thing is to recruit others who are motivated to be active and healthy. You don’t have to walk or exercise together to be on the same virtual team. Once the challenge begins, virtual teams are set and members cannot be switched or removed, no exceptions. 

What are Wellness Wednesdays? 

If you’re on an official virtual team (yourself plus two - seven others) you’ll find an additional activity in your email on Wednesday mornings and on the Team page — an exercise task to complete before 11:00 PM that day to earn a bonus point toward your team score.

If I have a disability, can I still participate in the Yale Trail? 

Yes; Yale Trail’s self-paced, flexible design fits people of all abilities. Be as active as you can in whatever ways you enjoy. If you’re unsure which  activities are best, check with your healthcare provider. The National Center on Health, Physical Activity, and Disability offers specific ideas.

The Step Conversions tool under the Tools/Resources tab is helpful for equivalents. If your activity isn’t listed, estimate your steps based on the closest in intensity (light, moderate, vigorous). An odometer can gauge distance in a wheelchair; five miles of pushing generally equals 10,000 steps (2000 steps/mile).

Are there prizes for participating? 

Yes. Prizes will be awarded to the top three virtual teams on the leader board. Additionally, prizes will be awarded through a random drawing to one of the top 30 virtual teams that have earned the most points.

Register today!