The 2019 Fit ‘n’ Healthy Festival was launched on Saturday at Alexandra Gardens, ahead of three months of planned activities across Ararat.
The program – originally called Active8 – began after Ararat featured on the ninth season of The Biggest Loser. It was first centred around eight people but it has now been altered to have a further focus on the wider community.
Tricia Ruthven is on the organisational committee and said that locals can try many different activities and classes during the festival without breaking the bank.
“It enables people, regardless of their wealth, to try new things that perhaps they haven’t tried before. Sometimes we don’t try new things because we can’t afford to,” Ruthven said.
“Whereas this gives you a trial, either free or at a really reduced rate. And you might end up really enjoying something that you perhaps wouldn’t have tried otherwise.”
Active8 has predominately been centred around physical health in the past, but this year’s Fit ‘n’ Healthy Festival is also focusing on mental health.
“This year we are trying to change that and we are trying to include some mental things. There’s nothing in September on the mental side of it, but in October we definitely have some,” she said.
“In saying that, exercise of any type is really good for your mental health as well. It gets happy hormones, endorphins happening in your brain and it makes you feel better.”
Activities on offer in September include the weekly Parkrun event on Saturday mornings at Alexandra Gardens, yoga, inspirational movie Embrace and mature age personal training sessions. The timetable for October and November are yet to be finalised.
Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the festival is important for Ararat as the town continues work that came out of participating in The Biggest Loser in 2014.
He said the Council continues to support the festival and the group behind it by auspicing the money raised from The Biggest Loser.
“Council thanks the dedicated group behind the festival for their hard work and commitment to seeing our residents become fitter and healthier,” he said.
“The festival is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of looking after your health, and we encourage residents to get along and enjoy the free and low-cost activities on offer.”
People wanting to know more details about what’s on offer and when events are being held can visit the group’s FACEBOOK PAGE.
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