United Way/YMCA team up again for Get Fit/Be Fit Challenge

Published 7:15 am Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Commit to getting or staying in shape this year. Just be sure to do so by Thursday.

The United Way of Mower County and the YMCA kick off the Get Fit/Be Fit Challenge Jan. 14, but participants only have a few more days to register.

The 14-week challenge consists of two team competitions. “Get Fit” is focused on weight loss, exercise and nutrition while “Be Fit” is only about exercise and nutrition.

“Four years ago, we took a look at what needs were not being met in the community, and started the program to address growing obesity rates and educate people about healthy lifestyles,” said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, executive director of the United Way of Mower County.

“Get Fit” and “Be Fit” are open to anyone living or working in Mower County. Individuals can join fitness teams of four to eight people, and can do one or both challenges.

Participants will be offered a variety of optional events and seminars to earn points and meet fitness goals.

Members of winning teams will receive prizes including gift certificates, shoes, massages and fitness programs.

New this year is an online tracking system for participants. Individuals can log in and update their weight loss, exercise and nutrition activity to see their progress in graph form. Participants can also talk with each other online, receive updates from the United Way and see how their team is doing against others.

Lighthizer-Schmidt said the online component was added — and the competition was lengthened from nine to 14 weeks — in response to participant feedback.

“As we go from year to year, it is evident this is something people are interested in being a part of,” Lighthizer-Schmidt said.

The competition has had between 600 and 950 participants annually in the past.

Registration for the Get Fit/Be Fit Challenge ends Thursday at 4 p.m. Registration is possible at the United Way of Mower County, 301 N. Main St., and at the YMCA, 704 First Drive NW. Registration forms can be downloaded at www.uwmower.org.