Health First – Mayors’ Fitness Challenge

Health First

Mayors' Fitness Challenge

This three-year-old event creates a friendly competition between Brevard County cities to win the “Most Fit City” title, as well as individual wellness awards.

Health First collaborates with various organizations to provide initiatives and activities to improve the community’s wellness and health. Based on Health First’s most recent Community Health Needs Assessment, lack of physical activity was identified as a disparity in Brevard County. According to a County Health Rankings report, 26 percent of Brevard County residents age 20 and over are physically inactive, compared to 19 percent nationwide and 25 percent statewide.

Clinicians have determined that regular exercise can reduce many chronic conditions, diseases and risk of premature death in adults. For children and adolescents, regular physical activity can decrease body fat and improve bone health, muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness.

As a result of these findings, three years ago, Health First created the Mayors’ Fitness Challenge to encourage Brevard County mayors and their residents to become involved in a friendly competition with other local municipalities to increase their physical activity and adopt a healthier lifestyle.

This year, 11 Brevard County mayors joined the Mayors’ Fitness Challenge to compete for the title of “Most Fit City.” In February 2019, kick-off events were held at three locations to create awareness and enthusiasm. Several community walks and other activities took place throughout the eight-week challenge.

Community members reported the number of minutes they exercised each week through an online portal, and prizes were awarded through random drawings. As an added incentive, adults could participate in the Great Weight-off competition, in which participants competed for cash prizes for the male and female who lost the largest percentage of their body weight.

The challenge concluded with an awards ceremony in April. Each team received an award certificate, and the City of Cocoa Beach received the 2019 “Most Fit City” trophy. A total of 2,445 people participated, logging 4.4 million minutes of exercise.

Two individual Great Weight-off competition winners gave inspirational speeches. The male winner lost 10.9 percent of his body weight, and the female winner lost 16 percent of her body weight.

The Health First Mayors’ Fitness Challenge has motivated many of Brevard County’s leaders and residents to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.