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New and improved Get Fit challenge offers more ways to win by losing

The Get Fit/Be Fit Challenge is coming to the Mower County community again in 2012. The Challenge is organized by the United Way of Mower County in conjunction with YMCA, Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin and KAAL-TV 6.

Get Fit was started six years ago by the United Way of Mower County to bring focus to the community on being active, eating healthfully and making positive lifestyle changes.

The Get Fit Challenge is a team competition focused on weight loss, exercise and nutrition. The Be Fit Challenge is an exercise and nutrition challenge. Teams can range from four to eight people.

The program has been changed. The Get Fit/Be Fit Challenge is 11 weeks, Jan. 12-March 29. Get Fit and Be Fit have been divided into three mini competitions, giving participants more opportunities to win and more chances to be successful.

"The focus this year is on completing mini competitions and not on accumulating points," said Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt, executive director of United Way of Mower County. "The competitions are designed to encourage team participation, provide participants with weekly goals and hopefully long-term success."

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There will be a few seminars, an opportunity to try the YMCA for free and other specials. The challenge is open to anyone living or working in Mower County.

"We asked our participants last year for their feedback on the program," Lighthizer-Schmidt said. "And from that we have made some changes that we think will not only improve Get Fit/Be Fit in general but help all participants continue on their quest for a healthier lifestyle. As we go from year to year, it is evident this is something people are interested in being a part of.

"The entire focus of Get Fit and Be Fit has been to help our community members make positive, healthy changes and have fun and support while doing so. This program is a great way to start out the new year. We hope everyone who wants to make some changes will consider participating in Get Fit or Be Fit."

Registration for the Get Fit/Be Fit Challenge ends at 4 p.m. Jan. 5. Those interested can register online or download a registration form on the website at www.uwmower.org . People may also register at the United Way or YMCA. All information can be found on the United Way website.

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