The Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge is a signature program implemented across the state to promote better health and fitness among faith-based communities. The 12-week physical activity challenge ends Sept. 10, with the top-performing churches receiving corporate contributions from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The 2016 Detroit program kickoff took place on June 18 at Marygrove College. Thirty-six, local churches signed up for the challenge and took part in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life® walkathon. The Grand Rapids program kickoff occurred the week before, with 15 churches enrolled. Congregations enrolled in the Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge will use the Blue Cross Blues Shield Association’s WalkingWorks tool to log the physical activity of each individual participant. This year, Blue Cross has renewed its partnerships with the American Cancer Society, Beaumont Health System and the American Heart Association for the challenge. Together, they provide nutrition workshops, tips to help prevent and manage chronic disease, and physical activity sessions that include Zumba, Yoga and Bokwa — a cardio workout that blends hip-hop, step aerobics and South African-style dance. The congregation from Shekinah Tabernacle Gospel Church is excited to be part of the Faith in Wellness Challenge again this year. “Our focus has always been on becoming more physically active and being as healthy as we can be,” said Pastor Reggie Huff. “This challenge gives us an extra incentive to maintain our mission and encourage our congregation to be healthier.” Thirty-one Blue Care Network ambassadors will be on hand at various events to greet participants, assist with the online tools and help encourage a healthy lifestyle. “Our Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge continues to have a positive impact on faith-based organizations across the state,” said Christie Laster, community affairs representative at Blue Cross. “It is a great program that encourages healthy, active lifestyles.” Winners of the challenge will be announced in September. The following faith-based communities are competing in the Detroit-area Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge:
The Faith in Wellness Blues Community Challenge is an incentive-based wellness program that reinforces Blue Cross’ commitment to reducing health disparities in diverse communities. Faith in Wellness focuses on African American faith-based communities, because African Americans are at high risk for chronic illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and cancer that can often be prevented with healthy behaviors.