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Challenge Yourself to Get Fit, Stay Fit

October 23, 2008
Challenge yourself to Get Fit, Stay Fit Julia Paich Thursday, September 25, 2008 For more information about the Get Fit, Stay Fit Challenge and to register, go to www.healthy You know the importance of eating a balanced diet and exercising. Perhaps after spending some one-on-one time with the scale, you've joined a gym and tried the "next big thing" diet. When it comes to sticking with it, you find yourself wondering, "How will this time be different?" Broomfield's third annual Get Fit, Stay Fit Community Challenge can help you answer that question. During the communitywide, eight-week challenge, participants will work toward the common goal of reaching and maintaining fitness. The event is sponsored by America on the Move Broomfield, a local community initiative whose focus is making small individual, environmental and policy changes to promote active living and healthy eating. The challenge features two weekly health and fitness presentations, group activities, weigh-ins and body fat testing. Individuals or teams can register through Monday by visiting www.healthybroomfield.com. The challenge kicks off Monday and ends Nov. 22. "The emphasis is on increasing personal fitness," said Shawn Gorman, Broomfield's America on the Move coordinator. "That's why we provide group-based activities, not just exercise. People want to have fun." Last year, 375 people participated in the inaugural Get Fit, Stay Fit Community Challenge. Other special opportunities during the challenge include sponsored days at the Paul Derda Recreation Center, and presentations, such as "Portion Distortion and Energy Expenditure" and "Assess Your Home's Health," which will help people determine how accessible their home is to activity. "It's important to understand how your environment impacts your health," said America on the Move coordinator Candice Smith. "We're working to increase awareness and help people make healthy choices. For instance, instead of snacking, have a few more healthy meals." America on the Move emphasizes that two small changes can make a big difference, and encourages everyone to take 2,000 more steps (about a mile) and eat 100 fewer calories daily. Amy Martinez, a preschool teacher at Bal Swan Children's Center, said during last year's challenge she discovered she had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. "My doctor wanted to put me on medication, but I didn't want to go that route, so I got everything back down to where it needs to be with just healthy diet and exercise. The challenge is great because it's an achievable goal to start and complete," she said. Martinez has since gone on to complete two triathlons and encourages her co-workers to get involved. The first week of the Get Fit, Stay Fit Challenge will kick off with weight, height and body fat measurements at Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center. The center also will provide information on services they offer, such as nutrition consultations and yoga classes. Although participants usually opt for weekly weigh-ins and body fat tests, the checks are required only during the first and the last week. Every week prizes will be awarded to the man, woman and team that have attained the greatest percentage of weight loss, greatest percentage of change in body fat and highest increase in percentage of steps. Children are welcome to participate in the activities, but not the weigh-ins. Kid-friendly activities will include swimming, walking and biking. The challenge wraps up with the "Turkey Trot 5K" race in the Anthem development. Get Fit participants will pay $20 for the race. "Some people want to walk, some run it. Either way it gives them an extra goal to work toward," Gorman said. Smith said that there's a fun element of competitiveness in which friends, families and co-workers try to outdo one another. "Last year we had teams of police competing against each other. A lot of people also motivate their businesses to join," she said. Gorman said Broomfield as a community is a great sponsor. "Everyone does things together. As a whole it's very collaborative and generous, and we hope to get as many people as we can registered for the challenge," he said.