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Take control of your life; start with Fit City kickoff

by Michael Ryan - Jan. 3, 2009 07:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

As a boy, I remember an announcer coming on TV every night and in a deep, dramatic voice saying, "It's 10 o'clock. Do you know where your children are?"

So let's try a variation: "It's Jan. 3. Do you know what happened to your New Year's resolutions?"

If one of those resolutions was to get fit and have a healthier lifestyle, then help is on the way.

It's called Fit City Scottsdale, and there will be a big communitywide kickoff three weeks from Saturday in downtown Scottsdale.

And the best part: It's free.

The celebration will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at venues near Main Street and the Waterfront.

The purpose is to provide people with health and fitness information and fun activities in which to participate. For example, at the Fit City Expo, there will be fitness, health and wellness vendor booths to provide information and promotional items for attendees. There will be body mass index and body composition testing, cooking demonstrations, complimentary massages, and yoga, karate and gymnastic demonstrations.

There are even events especially for children, including:

  • A Youth Sports Slam where kids can test their accuracy skills at football, baseball, golf and other sports.
  • A Fire Department obstacle course.
  • A Great Wellness Chase where corporate, family and two-person teams will compete for prizes in this "Great Race" throughout downtown Scottsdale. Clues will guide teams on the ultimate scavenger hunt that will take people through some of downtown's treasures. The event will challenge people's creativity and their ability to navigate Scottsdale by foot, bike or trolley.

More events and activities are being planned to make this a big celebration.

Fit City Scottsdale is a communitywide effort to promote better fitness and a healthier lifestyle. Research shows that while 90 percent of Scottsdale residents ranked their health as good, very good or excellent, 54 percent were actually overweight or obese, and only 36 percent exercised more than three hours per week.

It's easy to get depressed with all the bad economic news, but there is something people can do. They can take control of their lives, and vow to live healthier and to get more exercise. It will likely save you money that you would have to spend later for health care.

The goal of Fit City Scottsdale is to get people to do a little more and eat a little less.

If you don't exercise at all, vow to start walking for 15 minutes three times per week. Then you can build from there. If you're doing two hours of exercise each week, make it three hours.

If you're a junk-food addict, give it up one day per week. Then work your way up to two.

You will be amazed by the results you will see from exercising more and eating healthier.

Despite what they claim in those incessant TV infomercials, living fitter and healthier does take work. But it's definitely worth it. Your body will thank you.

If Fit City Scottsdale can provide the motivation, that would be awesome.

For more information, please check out the Web site:

Hope to see you on Jan. 24.

Michael Ryan is vice president of community newspapers for The Arizona Republic and general manager of the Scottsdale Republic. He is one of the founders of Fit City Scottsdale. He can be reached at or at 602-444-5810.