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Get ready to getfit@mit

Program encourages teams to work out, stay healthy
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Did you resolve to get into better shape in 2009? If so, you're in luck, because registration for the fifth annual getfit@mit team fitness challenge is now open.

The goal of the 12-week challenge, which officially begins January 26, is to help make MIT a healthier community by encouraging participants to exercise regularly. Teams of five to eight people work together to meet steadily increasing weekly exercise goals, starting at 150 total minutes in the first week. The entire MIT community is eligible to participate.

Learn more about registering a getfit@mit team at the kick-off event Wednesday, Jan. 14 from noon-1:30 p.m. in Lobby 10. Enjoy some refreshments, have your blood pressure checked, and enter to win door prizes.

During the getfit@mit challenge, all participants get a free tee-shirt, and teams and individuals who meet the exercise goal for any week are entered into that week's prize drawing. There are also special contests for individuals and teams, including a "Most Creative Exercise" team contest and a tee-shirt design contest where anyone can submit a design idea for this year's shirt, and all getfit@mit participants will have a chance to vote on the finalists.

"The getfit@mit challenge is intended to encourage exercise at a time of year when the cold weather and short days make it harder to stay active," said Maryanne Kirkbride, MIT's clinical director for campus life. "We want participants to challenge themselves, but it's not a competition."

getfit@mit is also a way to socialize as well as exercise. Participants report that the program gives them a reason to meet with friends on campus regularly and encourage each other. Last year, almost 2,300 people on more than 300 teams logged more than seven million minutes of exercise. Nearly three-quarters of past getfit@mit participants say they began exercising more as a result of the challenge, and most of them kept it up for at least six months after the program ended.

All teams must register online by Friday, Jan. 23. Registration information, rules, contests, exercise events and online tools are available on the program's web site at

getfit@mit is presented by MIT Medical, the MIT Health Plans, and MIT Medical's Center for Health Promotion and Wellness, with major sponsorship from MIT's Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER). getfit@mit also receives generous support from other MIT and community organizations.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 14, 2009 (download PDF).

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