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New Rochelle Fitness Challenge Emphasizes Positive Changes

New Rochelle students and adults have taken the fitness challenge.
New Rochelle students and adults have taken the fitness challenge. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The City School District of New Rochelle and the City of New Rochelle have joined forces in an innovative program to offer people healthy lifestyle tips and practices.

The "Healthy New Rochelle Fit Challenge," which kicked off on Feb. 1 and concludes in May with a community health fair, is offering participants useful tools to make positive healthy lifestyle changes.

Within the school district community, the principals of New Rochelle High School, Isaac E. Young Middle School and Albert Leonard Middle School are in the midst of a good-natured "principals' challenge," according to a release from the district.

The intent is to show students and faculty that if they can make long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes, then others can too, the release said.

"The value is that ultimately developing good habits will result in good health outcomes across the board," said New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson. "We're letting the community know anybody can make some small, healthy changes. If you're consistent with those changes, they can have powerful outcomes."

Tilsa Rodriguez-Gonzalez, the district's director of health/physical education, said the challenge's purpose is to encourage the staff to support each other to maintain a work-life balance, including a sustainable living style leading to longevity and a high quality of life.

"The challenge will encourage the team members to explore new ways of sustaining this lifestyle," she said. "Many times, people perceive exercise or healthy habits as time-consuming. We want to use this challenge as motivation and support for staff to meet their fitness and health goals. When people are supported in their goals, they will more than likely succeed in meeting them."

Danah Smart, a wellness consultant, is enthusiastic about what she hopes the outcome of the three-month fit challenge will be. "From the youngest, to the oldest and everyone in-between, this is about creating healthy families and a healthy community," she said.

Smart added the goal is to "diminish the expected statistics for 2030 which say that one-half of our nation is going to be obese," which then puts people at risk for heart disease, diabetes and other health issues.

At the three schools, "#HealthyNewRo" teams have been formed with their respective principals leading them in their improved healthy lifestyle quest. Teams had their initial weigh-ins and will now earn points by following app instructions, participating in events and attending check-ins.

"The goal is for our adults to provide the model behavior students will want to follow," said Rodriguez-Gonzalez. "We want to make an impact on every adult and child and their ability to sustain a healthy lifestyle. We want to build a healthy New Rochelle, starting from the core."

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