Have you been trying to lose weight? Then join the rest of Somerville for the city's first fitness challenge. The "Mayor's Fitness Challenge" kicked off at noon this past Saturday with a health and wellness fair at the Somerville High School Gymnasium.
"The Mayor's Fitness Challenge" will be an annual event. Paulette Renault-Caragianes from the Health Department said, "It will be held again this time next year."
A DJ played background music at the fair while shoppers perused the indoor farmer's market. Local children played basketball and rode toy bikes, while residents took part in demonstrations of yoga, pilates and a Boot Camp class. A nurse was on site giving flu shots and flu mists for kids. A high-tech body fat analyzer that also tested Body Mass Index (BMI) was available, as well as free massages.
At the fair, participants chose to make their own "Lifestyle Pledge" to exercise more and eat better meals, or to take part in a Team Competition. The "Lifestyle Pledge" can be something as simple as pledging to work out once a week or to cut a fatty food out of your diet.
Those who opted to compete were assigned to a team of ten members. The teams will earn points for weight loss and change in BMI. There will be five individual winners and one team winner; however, those prizes have yet to be determined.
All participants earned a Shape Up Somerville Fitness Buck and a "Fitness Kit" that included a walking map, jogging lights, and a pedometer. The Fitness Bucks provide a discount at various establishments in Somerville, and won't expire until the last day of the challenge, May 22nd.
There will be other chances to earn Fitness Bucks at events throughout the next couple of months, including the Spring Cleanup on May 8th and the 5k Run/Walk in April. Director of Community Relations, Carlene Campbell said, "I am extremely excited that the city is doing this. The whole concept is to ask people to pledge, play, and be healthy."
Everyone in Somerville is encouraged to pledge, and it's not too late. To find out more information, visit SomervilleMa.gov/challenge, or contact Campbell, at CCampbell@somervillema.gov