The weather may have turned cooler, but fitness has Tullahoma and its residents heating up.
On Saturday, the Panther/Bobcat 5K Run will be held at Frazier McEwen Park. Saturday’s 5K is a part of the Get Fit Tullahoma! program that was launched in March. Mayor Lane Curlee is behind the initiative that was created to encourage wellness and a healthier lifestyle in the community.
The cost for the event is $10 and registration is currently ongoing at both East and West middle schools or at D.W. Wilson Community Center on North Collins Street. Registration will also be available on the day of the race.
“Our goal was to create events where people in the community would feel encouraged to get up and move,” said Curlee. “I believe that healthy families are happy and healthy employees are more productive. To create happier families and employees, I introduced the get fit initiative.”
Fitness events created from the initiative include the following:
Biking with the Mayor: A biking event in which the public joins the mayor for a half-hour bicycle ride. The ride welcomes all ages and fitness levels.
Diabetes management classes: Free classes to individuals with diabetes or those with a family member with diabetes. Held in partnership with the University of Tennessee Extension and Partners for Healing, the class covers topics that include the impact of diabetes, problems and concerns of diabetics, and steps to guide participants to become active managers of their disease.
Health and Fitness Expo: The event included over 30 vendors with fitness demonstrations by Crossfit, Karate by Molly Gupta and the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge. Approximately 500 people attended with over 50 completing diabetic risk screenings from Partners for Healing.
Curlee added that in creating these events, all fitness levels were considered.
“For individuals who have been sedentary for years, they aren’t able to get out and run a 5K,” he said. “We want to help them ease them into it. We have entry level things all the way to more experienced fitness levels. We hope to continue to add more activities to keep the community engaged and active.”
For Saturday’s run, East and West middle schools are competing in a friendly rivalry to recruit the most 5K sign-ups for the event. The winner will receive a trophy and bragging rights. But both principals, Debbie Edens at East Middle and Mickey Shuran at West Middle, agree that it’s all about getting the community moving.
“While we will be competing for bragging rights, it’s really about promoting school spirit and getting the whole community together,” Edens said. “This event has been two years in the making and we were thrilled when Tullahoma Get Fit! came on board. We are very excited about the event and invite the public to come and take part.”
Future of Get Fit
Curlee says there is more to come for the fitness initiative with activities scheduled through the year.
“There has been a wonderful response from the community,” said Curlee. “We plan to continue to continue to offer fitness outlets for the community. We have recently completing a one-quarter-mile fitness trail at East Lincoln Elementary and also plan to build additional play and fitness sessions.”
Benefits of family fitness
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, children and adults should engage in physical activities for 60 minutes each day. This is especially important for young children and adolescents–to ensure they continue to build strong bones and muscles.
Try activities such as jumping rope and dancing to keep your family excited about exercise. Every family is different so work with yours to create a list of physical activities everyone enjoys doing together, then brainstorm a list of new activities to try, such as bicycling, gardening, hiking, or kicking a soccer ball in the park. As your family thinks of new activities, keep adding them to the list.
Decide when to play together. Choose one or two activities to participate in each day. One simple activity you can do together is to take a walk after dinner. Walking is an excellent way to help digest a meal and strengthen muscles, and it provides an opportunity to share about each other’s day. List the activities on your calendar and mark off each day’s activities together so everyone can look forward to the next day’s activities.
Determine your fitness goals and keep track of them. As with any type of exercise you begin, it’s important to consider the ages and current fitness levels of all participants. Then you can work toward increasing the intensity and duration of different activities. For example, during the first week, your family might take 30-minute walks each night after dinner, followed by dancing to your child’s favorite CD in the living room. The next week, increase the time spent walking and pick up the dancing pace a bit.
One way to track your family’s fitness goals is to write them down and put them on the refrigerator or in some other highly visible location. Review your goals periodically. After a goal has been met, set a new goal to work toward. Remember: The most important goal is for all family members to participate in physical activities regularly, so it’s important that any goals you set are attainable and that everyone is motivated to work toward them.
Maintaining your plan
Get active. Remember to participate in some type of physical activity or activities for a total of at least 60 minutes each day.
Have fun. Your kids are much more likely to participate in physical activities that are fun, so make sure everyone enjoys the time spent together.
Eat healthy. Eat fewer foods that are high in fat and calories, and more foods that benefit the body, such as fruits and vegetables. Involve the entire family in selecting and preparing meals so everyone understands how to make healthy food choices.
One of the best things you can do for your children today is to help them develop the knowledge and lifestyle habits that will help them live happy and healthy lives tomorrow.
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