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The Blue & You Fitness Challenge gets better... NOW Challenge your employees, co-workers, friends and family to feel better, look better and be better...register for the Challenge!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Ed Barnham, Arkansas Department of Health @ 501-280-4147
Kristy Fleming, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield @ 501-378-5869
Joyce Williams, Arkansas Department of Human Services @ 501-683-5286



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (January 14, 2014) — The 2014 Blue and You Fitness Challenge is inviting more people than ever — co-workers, community, family and friends — to create groups and challenge each other to feel better, look better and be better. From now until February 14, team registration for the 2014 contest is open! Groups can sign up to participate in this fitness event now. In fact, the Blue and You Fitness Challenge website has a new look and registration is easier.

The Blue and You Fitness Challenge encourages participants to work toward the public health recommendation of 30 minutes of physical activity each day, most days of the week. The exercise competition has grown from two entities in 2004 to more than 126 groups competing in 2013. More than 8,495 participants in 32 states took part in the 2013 Challenge.

The Challenge begins March 1 and runs through May 31. Groups have until Febraury 14 to register. A designated team leader (or group administrator) will need to sign up the group on the newly updated Challenge website, BlueAndYouFitnessChallenge-ark.com. Individuals (age 13 and up) who want to participate in a registered Challenge group can get a team code from the group administrator and then go to the website and register through February 28.

New this year, participants can log their exercise using their smart phones and participants can advance more than one checkpoint in a day if they exercise more than the required 30 minutes. Participants also can access the Challenge website to log their exercise and track their progress. The Blue and You Fitness Challenge has a Facebook and Twitter page to share motivational tips, exercise ideas and fun stories to help participants stay committed.

Participants in the Challenge in previous years have not only reported weight loss, but also reported lowering their blood sugar levels, their cholesterol, their systolic blood pressure and their diastolic blood pressure.

The Challenge is hosted by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Human Services. For more information, call 1-800-686-2609 or log on to BlueAndYouFitnessChallenge-ark.com.

Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates have more than 2,500 employees.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is comprised of 37 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provide health care coverage for 100 million — nearly one in three — Americans.

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is a centralized health department, operating health units in each of the state’s 75 counties. County governments provide facilities and support for the clinical, environmental and home health services offered by the agency. The mission of the Department is to promote public health policies and practices that assure a healthy quality of life for Arkansans. ADH works to protect, improve and promote the health of all Arkansans with the support of more than 5,000 dedicated employees and public and private partners. During each year, Department employees monitor and investigate public health disease and threats, provide preventative and personal health services in clinical and in-home settings, provide education and enforce laws and regulations, support Hometown Health Improvement, promote healthy behaviors, respond to public health emergencies and educate and monitor industries that impact the public’s health.

The Arkansas Department of Human Services provides a wide range of social services to more than a million Arkansas citizens each year through its programs and private providers. DHS is the largest department of the executive branch of state government. It has more than 7,000 employees and consists of ten divisions and six support offices. DHS maintains offices in each of the state’s 75 counties where a person can apply for all the services DHS offers. Services are provided to people from all walks of life and all ages. Major programs, which fall under the Arkansas Department of Human Services, include the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, and the Medicaid program, which account for the largest part of the department’s $5.8 billion annual budget.

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