For more than a decade, DeWitt has had its own community program stemming from the statewide initiative “Live Healthy Iowa.” It is called “Get Fit DeWitt” (GFD).
It’s a 10-week wellness challenge that runs January through April and requires participants to track their weight loss and activity minutes.
But members of the DeWitt Parks and Recreation Department, which facilitates the program, has decided it will take next year off due in part to fewer participants.
Since it began in January 2008, more than 1,000 local residents have made the commitment to take part in the annual event that dares participants to put their New Year’s resolutions to get healthier to the test.
But DeWitt Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Lake said that in recent years, the number of people who chose to participate has been dropping.
According to a report provided to members of the DeWitt Parks and Recreation Commission at their meeting Monday night, the number of teams that participated in the 2019 challenge was 14, and the total number of participants was 67.
Lake noted, in 2014 the number of teams was 51, and total participants was 338. Those figures have decreased with each passing year.
“I think we just need to step away from GFD for one year,” he said. “It’s not that we’re not interested in doing it, but I think we should take a break and see if people miss it.”
In 2015, there were 50 teams and 305 participants; in 2016, 40 teams and 270 participants; in 2017, 23 teams and 160 participants; and in 2018, there were 21 teams and 120 participants.
The decline prompted parks and recreation staff to see if taking time away from it would reignite the community’s interest.
Lake said people still can be part of the statewide Live Healthy Iowa challenge by registering at www.livehealthyiowa.org.