PHIT America, the non-profit education and advocacy organization designed to combat the inactivity and obesity crisis, has announcing national plans for the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge (MFC), a 10-week health and wellness campaign designed to encourage community interaction through fitness and educational programs.
Beta tested in New Smyrna Beach, Florida since 2010, the MFC initiates weight loss and promotes active lifestyles through group fitness activities. Citizens participated in complimentary or reduced-rate exercise classes and regular weigh-ins to track overall progress. The 110 individuals who finished the challenge in 2011 lost an average of 15.5 pounds and learned valuable lessons to maintain a dynamic routine.
The national launch of the MFC was announced at the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida on August 16.
“Each year, we’ve seen increased support via participation and sponsorship from local businesses as well as an economic boost to the community,” says New Smyrna Beach Mayor Adam Barringer. “Every mayor should look at this program for their city revenues from registration fees and sponsors have always covered costs, making the Challenge a win-win for everyone involved.”
PHIT America provides city leaders support materials at no cost including an activation timeline, website templates, clinicians and speakers, online registration tools through the ACTIVE Network and personal wellness accounts by Total Health Interactive.
The MFC introduces participants to area gyms, health clubs, and sporting goods retailers while taking advantage of the city’s natural resources for outdoor activities such as boot camps. At the conclusion of the program, the weight-loss percentage for each participating city is posted on PHIT America’s website.
“Health care costs related to inactivity are climbing at an alarming rate and the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge helps reduce expenses locally by creating an interest in getting fit,” says Jupiter, Florida resident Jim Baugh, founder of PHIT America, former president of Wilson Sporting Goods and a 2011 inductee into the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame. “The World Health Organization recently reported that an investment of $1 in physical activity leads to $3.20 in medical costs savings in the United States.”
About PHIT America
Founded in January 2013, PHIT America and its 130-plus sponsors are responding to the inactivity and obesity crisis by leading “A Movement for a Fit and Healthy America.” PHIT America promotes grass-roots fitness and sports initiatives, including development of high-quality physical education programs in schools. Recent Physical Activity Council research shows children in P.E. are three to four times more likely to be active outside of school.
PHIT America also supports two vital pieces of legislation, which will increase the number of fit and healthy Americans:
Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT) When passed, Americans will be able to use pre-tax medical accounts for physical activity expenses.
Physical Education Program (PEP) An 11-year program supports local physical education programs throughout America.
Both the PHIT Act and PEP Program will help mitigate rising health care costs by causing Americans to develop more active lifestyles.