Fitness is focus of Rutland event

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(Host) Rutland residents are being offered a week of activities aimed at promoting physical activity.

The first “Fit and Fabulous in Downtown Rutland” is under way and as VPR’s Nina Keck reports, organizers hope it will help address the region’s growing obesity problem by encouraging healthier lifestyles.

(Keck) Jim Tasse, Program Director for the Rutland Area Physical Activity Coalition gave bike repair pointers at a demonstration Monday in Rutland’s Depot Park. He says Rutland’s third annual Bike To Work Day was a great way to kick off a week full of fitness information and demonstrations.

(Tasse) “Today we’re celebrating’ chill out day,’ which is a day dedicated to stress reduction kinds of things. So we’re going to be doing some yoga demonstrations. And there’s going to be massages and meditation discussions.”

(Keck) Blood pressure and cholesterol screenings as well as a number of wellness talks are scheduled for tomorrow when the focus will be on education and prevention. The health benefits of walking will be addressed on Thursday. And Friday the spotlight will be on dance. Tasse says good nutrition is Saturday’s topic, with seminars on breast feeding, cooking demonstrations and lots of healthy food samples.

(Tasse) “Rutland County has some of the highest rates of obesity and obesity-related illness in the state. And what we want to do is establish a culture here in Rutland County where being physically active is normal and desirable. And we’re trying to get that message out to everyone in the county.”

(Keck) Activities wrap up on Sunday with the 29th annual Crowley Brothers Memorial 10 K road race. Mary Kay Skaza is Marketing Coordinator for the Rutland downtown Partnership, which helped organize the event. She says the response has been tremendous.

(Skaza) “It was amazing. So many health organizations have gotten involved. Rutland Regional Medical Center, the Vermont Department of Health and the list just goes on and on – people were so eager and anxious to help me it was incredible.”

(Keck) So incredible, she says they already hope to make this an annual event.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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