Montclair’s Mayor Robert Jackson has announced plans for the Mayor’s Wellness Challenge, a program designed to help people lose weight, increase fitness levels and adopt healthier lifestyles in 2017.
The program — in collaboration with HackensackUMC Mountainside, Township of Montclair, Montclair Board of Education, Montclair State University, Fleet Feet Sports of Montclair, YMCA, Bike & Walk Montclair, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Montclair Public Library, Integrated Medicine, Sister to Sister, and the Montclair Business Improvement District— will allow both team and individual challengers to register starting the first week of January.
“The Township of Montclair is excited to offer this program to the community this year,” stated Mayor Robert Jackson. “Our Mayor’s Wellness Committee and local sponsors are willing to support the Township of Montclair because they recognize the importance of committing to a healthy lifestyle.
The 12-week program will begin on Monday, January 9 and is open to Montclair residents, people who work in Montclair, and Township and BOE employees. Participants registering can do it individually or compete on a team of five people.
“People really seem to like the ‘team’ option since it is a great way to stay motivated,” Mayor Jackson noted. “It will be great to see teams of residents, employees, and friends getting together and competing to make a change. Teams also provide a great support system,” he added.
The Mayor’s Wellness Challenge will kick off on January 9, between the hours of 4:30 – 7:30 pm at Fire Headquarters, located at 1 Pine Street in Montclair. Parking will be available for free that evening at the Bay Street parking deck. Challengers will register with a $10 fee, obtain baseline weight and measurements, and pick a ‘home scale’ location for weigh-ins. (Weigh-ins will be conducted every other week and there will be convenient daytime and evening hours available) On the January 9th kick-off day, representatives from Hackensack UMC Mountainside will provide free, individualized health evaluations to participants with appointments. Participants will meet with a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist to discuss individual goals, including lifestyle changes and an exercise plan to attain those goals. The kick-off will also include a meet-and-greet with representatives from supporting businesses and sponsors of the program and there will be short general presentations about nutrition and exercise that everyone can benefit from.
Plenty of resources and group exercise classes will be available throughout the 12-week program that will allow participants to put those plans into action. “I am grateful for the generosity of our supporters. Everyone wants our challengers to succeed with the program, meet their goals, and to be a healthier community,” commented the Mayor.
“Our goal is to offer as many health and wellness options for our challengers as possible, so they can learn what works best for them. We want our challengers to take what they’ve learned in the 12 weeks and apply it to their everyday lives beyond the challenge,” Sue Portuese, Health Officer added. Sue Portuese, the program coordinator also hopes to involve many local Montclair restaurants by encouraging them to promote healthy meals or add healthy menu items to support the challenge. “One of the things Montclair is known for is its food – I trust our local chefs to come up with healthy dishes that are also delicious.”
There will be plenty of incentives offered throughout the 12-week program. Prizes will be awarded to both the individual and team who lose the highest % of body weight by the end of the 12 weeks. An awards ceremony is currently being planned for Monday, April 10.
Up for the challenge? Register by downloading an application from the Township of Montclair website or visit the Montclair Health Department 205 Claremont Avenue, Montclair. Applications will also be available in the main office of the Montclair Public Schools, as well as the Montclair Public Library. The first 200 applicants will be accepted.