HOLLYWOOD — In a season of rich food, plentiful sweets and bubbly cheer, the Health Department sponsored the Jingle Bell Jog 5K on Dec. 17 in Hollywood to help keep health and fitness on the front burner.
“We wanted to get the community together and promote fitness during the holidays,” said Lauren Goas, health educator. “We have seen an increase in participation in exercise over the last three years.”
The department used the jog to promote their largest event of the year, Rez Rally, which will take place Jan. 16 in Big Cypress.
“We kick off the year with Rez Rally and then go into the spring Pathways programs,” Goas said. “We try to get people excited by providing events. We are their biggest cheerleaders and support system along the way.”
About 40 members of the Hollywood community put on their sneakers and jogged, ran, walked and rolled from Classic Gym through Seminole Estates on the unseasonably warm afternoon.
Fitness specialist Debra Marsalisi said the 5K events throughout the year are just one piece of the fitness puzzle. The Fitness Department offers a variety of classes at different levels, including spinning, kickboxing, yoga and water fitness. Personal trainers are available.
January usually brings a lot of new faces to the gym, Marsalisi said, and she encourages them to have fun while they are working out.
“The trainers are all personal motivators,” she said. “Building relationships keeps people coming back. Fitness isn’t a short-term fix; it’s a lifetime journey.”
A few secrets to getting and staying fit throughout the year include balanced nutrition, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of rest and saying not that I have to, but I choose to, Marsalisi said.
“It’s very empowering,” she said.
Tasha Osceola brought her children to the event. Lennox Sanders, 2, enjoyed the comfort of his stroller while Captain Osceola, 3, rode his training wheel-assisted big boy bicycle. Osceola has a plan to stay fit in the new year.
“I’ll eat right and continue to exercise at the gym with Miss Deb,” she said.
The deadline to register for Rez Rally is Jan. 12. Contact local team captains: Big Cypress: Nadine Bowers, Marlin Miller, Cathy Cypress, Alvin Buster Jr.; Brighton/Tampa: Joyce Jumper, Grace Koontz, Lewis Gopher, Bridgette Koontz; Immokalee/Naples: Amy Yzaguirre, Cecilia Garcia, Juanita Martinez, Marylou Alvarado; Hollywood/ Ft. Pierce/ Trail: Jo North, Bobby Frank, Francine Osceola, Diane Buster. Register online at www.SemTribe.com/RezRally.
To arrange for a personal trainer, call the Fitness Department or stop by the gym on any reservation.