Manistique takes top honors in Upper Peninsula wellness challenge

Manistique takes top honors in Upper Peninsula wellness challenge

The Manistique East Breakwater lighthouse.

After eight weeks, the Blues wrapped up the annual community challenge, “Let’s Get Moving U.P. Blue Community Challenge” for residents in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The results are in and the city of Manistique is this year’s winner.

The goal of the 56-day challenge, a partnership between BCBSM and Sault Tribe Strategic Alliance for Health, is to encourage residents of participating Upper Peninsula communities to increase levels of physical activity and make positive lifestyle changes to improve overall health.

The effort supports the Blues initiative to create healthier communities throughout Michigan.

This summer, more than 400 people from six communities – Kinross, Manistique, Munising, Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie and St. Ignace – participated in the free competition.

Newberry community members receive a $1,000 grant from the Blues Community Challenge.

The communities competed to log the most average miles per participant to receive grants ranging from $600 to $2,250 to enhance opportunities for physical fitness activities in their neighborhoods. Wellness miles were earned for minutes of physical activity, eating healthy and making healthy lifestyle choices – such as not smoking.

This year’s winner, Manistique, earned a $2,250 grant. Participants averaged 200 miles per team member, or the distance it would take to walk from Detroit to Muskegon.

“It is our hope that participants not only learn and develop healthy lifestyles during the challenge, but they continue these habits for the rest of their lives,” said B.J. Puchala, BCBSM senior community liaison. “This event is another example of our efforts in leading Michigan to a healthier future.”

Lighthouse photo by kewing.

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