Mid-Michigan: Get Ready to Move With the Winter Warm Up, Featuring the Blues Community Challenge

Getting mid-Michigan residents moving and “choosing health” is the goal of the 2015 Winter Warm Up.

Community Partners in Health of Lansing (CPHLansing) is presenting the free eight-week program, which is sponsored in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Community members are invited to a kickoff and rally on Saturday, Jan. 24 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the Lansing Mall. Participants will meet near the Macy’s department store.

Former Michigan State University basketball standout Andre Hutson will make an appearance at the kickoff event. Hutson, who formed Conquest Health and Fitness Foundation to promote health and active lifestyles, believes strongly in the mission of the Winter Warm Up. He hopes it will help community members start to reverse negative health markers, especially considering Michigan often ranks poorly in terms of health.

“To be able to come together as a community and challenge and educate community residents on how to become more active and the benefits you get, goes a long way,” Hutson said.

He’s especially excited about events geared toward kids during the eight-week challenge, helping them to give up the gadgets and get moving. Getting families participating together is another important goal.

“The Winter Warm Up program does a great job of getting the youth involved,” Hutson said. “It’s very beneficial for all levels, not just the kids, but the adults as well.”

At Saturday’s kickoff, you’ll find kids activities presented by the YMCA, a comfort food demo by the MSU Extension, a Taste of Health with samples of healthy eating options from area restaurants, health and mental health information and resources, and health screenings at the rally. You’ll also be able to sign up for the Blues Community Challenge. Even if you can’t make it to the kickoff event, you can sign up by clicking on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan link on the CPHLansing website.

In previous years, communities have banded together and competed against one another in the Blues Community Challenge, but this year the focus will be on working together and tracking more activity overall.

“The challenge from Blue Cross is for all Winter Warm Up participants to work together as one team and achieve a target goal of 250,000 miles over the eight weeks,” said B.J. Puchala, senior community responsibility liaison for BCBSM. “This will continue our record of big year-over-year increases in activity during the Winter Warm Up.”

At the end of the eight weeks, a celebration walk/run will be held at Hawk Island Park on March 22. CPHLansing has a full list of Winter Warm Up activities taking place over the eight weeks here.

Are you planning to take part in the Winter Warm Up? Tell us how it goes in the comment section!

Be sure to check out this video from last year’s Winter Warm Up:

Photo credit: Scott Feldstein

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