"FitCity campaign kicks off

With an obesity rate that ranks among the highest in the United States, young residents of Indianapolis have been targeted for a new fitness campaign aimed to increase fitness awareness and physical health.

The latest component of the FitCity initiative begins this month, providing children, adolescents and their caregivers with messages about obesity, good nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight, and prompting them to be more active and eat healthier.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, 25.7 percent of Hoosier children were classified as overweight and 14.2 percent as obese in 2004. Only 2 percent of school-age children in our state meet the recommended minimum number of servings for all five major food groups in the Food Guide Pyramid.

FitCity organizers hope to motivate residents to change behaviors that contribute to obesity in their communities, and provide them resources to help facilitate those changes by extending the reach and impact of existing community programs and services that provide fitness, nutrition and health-based options at low or no cost to those most in need.

Central Indiana residents of all ages have plenty of opportunities to get moving this August as part of the FitCity campaign. From Fishers to Eagle Creek to Indy Parks facilities around the city, opportunities abound. For more information on fitness and health resources around the area, visit www.fitcity.info.


FitCity Calendar 

Saturday, Aug. 12

What: Second Annual Indy Kids Triathlon: The mini-triathlon for kids features a 25-yard swim, 1.5-mile bike ride and half-mile run. Parental assistance is required and the event is not timed. Participants receive a T-shirt and water bottle. For ages 5-12.

Where: Sahm Park, 6801 E. 91st St.

When: 8 a.m. to noon

Cost: free


Tuesday, Aug. 15

What: Watkins Park Aerobics: Get fit while learning basic dance steps.

Where: Watkins Park, 2360 Martin Luther King Jr. St.

When: 6 to 8 p.m.

Cost: free


Wednesday, Aug. 16

What: Heart Healthy Cooking Nutrition Series: Does what we eat affect our memory? Call 800-777-7775 or visit


for more information.

Where: The Indiana Heart Hospital, Community Hospital North Campus, 8075 N. Shadeland Ave.

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Cost: $10 (discount for couples)

Saturday, Aug. 26

What: Night Hike at Ritchey Woods: Bring dinner or snacks and join staff on a guided exploration of the woods after dark. Sturdy footwear is recommended. Registration is required. Call 317-595-3458 or e-mail


for more information.

Where: Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve, 10410 Hauge Road, Fishers

When: 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $2 per person


Sunday, Aug. 27

What: Wheels for Winning: a family ride to benefit hemophilia. There also will be a youth bike safety seminar, food, drinks and fun events. A $100 Simon gift card will be awarded to the best dressed rider. Visit


for more information.

Where: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W. 16th St.

When: 9 a.m.

Cost: $25


Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

What: Outdoor recreation at Douglass Park Family Center: Frisbee, steal the bacon, kickball and more.Where: Douglass Park Family Center, 1616 E. 25th St.

When: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1 to 3 p.m. Cost: free for ages 10-17First Friday of every month

What: Fun Fridays: Show off basketball skills, watch feature films or play boardgames.Where: Brookside Park Family Center, 3500 Brookside Parkway South Drive When: First Friday of every month,

7 to 9 p.m.

Cost: free for ages 12-18



What: Group fitness run: Join novice and experienced runners for a group run every Sunday at Eagle Creek Park at the 56th Street entrance. Led by Cardinal Fitness personal trainer Tod Esquivel, the distance run will be determined by each individual runner and his/her current training cycle or plan. All runs will follow a road course through the park. Contact Tod at runfastsquirrel@hotmail.com or 317-289-1219 prior to first run to determine the training run that is best suited to current fitness needs.

Where: Eagle Creek Park, 56th Street entrance

When: 7 a.m.

Cost: free


Mondays and Wednesdays

What: Teen Wellness Course: teaches teens ages 13-17 how to lift weights and the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Teens will be trained for proper usage of the equipment and shown the proper technique for lifting.

Where: Bethel Park, 2945 E. Minnesota St.

When: 5 to 6 p.m.

Cost: one-time $10 registration fee



What: Inline skating at the Velodrome: Bring your skates and take on the Velodrome’s 30-foot-wide flat apron. For seasoned skaters and beginners alike. Call 317-327-8356 for more information.

Where: Major Taylor Velodrome, 3639 Cold Spring Road

When: 5 to 9 p.m.

Cost: $4 per evening


Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

What: Badminton: Practice a new sport and meet new friends.

Where: Rhodius Park, 1720 W. Wilkens St.

When: Tuesday and Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m.

Cost: $2 adults, $1 youth


FitCity is a collaboration funded and facilitated by The Health Foundation, United Way of Central Indiana, the City of Indianapolis, Marion County Health Department and Information and Referral Network. It has the financial support of corporate partners including Clarian Health Partners and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.