BENNINGTON >> There's a new group in town with a passion for health and fitness.
Get Fit Bennington meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday every week at 6 p.m. at lower Willow Park for a free workout. Katie Favreau, Sara Sokolowski, and other local residents recently formed the group.
Its goal is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to get more mobile through a wide variety of workouts including short intervals, light cardio and body resistance strength training.
Favreau noticed the success of fit camps in other towns and with her experience as a Herbalife Wellness Coach, she and fellow team of coaches arranged the group in hopes to promote a healthy and active lifestyle in Bennington.
"I definitely feel like this is something Benington needs. With cell phones, television, computers, and video games, so many people aren't getting up and getting active," she said. "This was true for myself and my family as well, but now we are making an effort to get and stay healthy and active as a family. I am so excited to be a part of providing this to others as well."
Currently there are about 10 regular participants and five coaches who alternate instructing workouts. Sessions are expected to continue through warm weather, and relocate to a free indoor location for two nights a week during the winter months, according to Favreau and Sokolowski. Individuals interested in joining are urged to bring their family along.
"I wanted to start this group to offer a free, safe, fun spot for the community to come together and work on their health goals together," Sokolowski said. "Working out as a group is so much fun, getting outside, enjoying the beautiful weather together, it brings people together and we can all have a good time and get to know more people in the community."
She added that gyms may be available, but not at an affordable cost or with child care, for some.
As part of the Vermont Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Plan, there are Healthy Vermonters goals to meet by 2020. The initiative stemmed from a health assessment in 2012 to make public health changes in the next decade, and track them into 2020, according to the Vermont Department of Health. Out of the targeted 14 municipal strategies being implemented to increase access to physical activity, there are 17 thus quarter. Last year, numbers exceeded each quarter. Vermont has also been ranked the second healthiest state for two years in a row, according to a report from the United Health Foundation released in December.
"We encourage everyone regardless of age and fitness ability to join us and bring their kids along. It is so important for our children to see us active and making healthy choices," Sokolowski said. "My oldest son, 6-years-old, said to me this afternoon he wished he could run one of the workouts. I couldn't ask for more than my kids wanting to lead healthy lives."
Find Get Fit Bennington on Facebook for updates and more information.
—Makayla-Courtney McGeeney can be reached at (802)-447-7567, ext. 118.