NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Mayor's Fitness Challenge kicked off Friday night with activities, music and ideas for healthy living.
This is the fourth year of the event, now part of the "Berkshire Mayors'" challenge as Pittsfield joined last year, offering up a little competition between the county's only cities.
This year's launch was held with tables and information along the sunny side of Main Street and at Colegrove Park, where people could try out hula hoops, weights and tug of rope games.
"Things are going very well," Amanda Chilson, local coordinator for the state's Mass in Motion program. "It's become simpler. We're using the website more, we're using Maker's Mill for making T-shirts. ...
"This gets people familiarized with what we have down here. It really makes an event out of it."
Participants in the eight to 10 week challenge brought T-shirts to Maker's Mill to have them screen-printed with the challenge's logo — a cartoon sketch of a jogging Mayor Richard Alcombright (Pittsfield's has a hiking Mayor Linda Tyer) — and organizations including Berkshire Family and Individual Resources, Wild Oats, Berkshire Family YMCA, North Adams Yoga and Miner Combat.
There was a line for reiki demonstrations and a jump rope challenge. Those who grabbed a brochure and got a check for every stop got a water bottle and a chance at a gift card at Berkshire Emporium.
The challenge's goal is to get residents thinking about eating healthy and being active. Teams or individuals can sign up on the website and collect points daily for drinking 8 ounces of water, or eating a cup of vegetables or fruit, or doing physical activity.
Workplaces are encouraged to sign up as teams create a healthier work environments. The challenge can offer resources for work sites, mini challenges and a prize for the "healthiest" at the celebratory end of the event. Chilson said last year's winner was a team from Racing Junk, which shares a building with iBerkshires.
She thought the participation numbers have been pretty steady but noted that some people may drop in or out of challenge. Others may participate in events but not the challenge.
"We have people who don't hand their points in at the end but say they went to Hit Fit in the park and went every Wednesday," she said. ... its those that really count. ...
"Kudos to those with the discipline to get through it," she added, but the people who try to incorporate event one healthy thing they learned into their lives is important in changing attitudes.
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