The New Year is here, and many of us are kicking off our resolutions to get healthy in 2020. That may include drinking more water, moving your body more or making healthier food choices.

Are you interested in living a healthier lifestyle? If so, the It’s Time Texas Community Challenge is a win-win. Reach your goals while also earning points for the city you live or work in.

This year’s challenge runs Monday through March 1.

We’re getting ready to kick off a new year, a new decade, and many of us have goals focused on getting healthy. This eight-week challenge is a great way to kick-start that healthy lifestyle and have fun with family and friends as you compete against one another.

Getting started is simple. Visit www.ittcommunitychallenge.com to register. You’ll be prompted to choose a community for which you’ll earn points by tracking what you eat, exercising, taking healthy selfies and more. You can do this as an individual or representative of a school, business, municipality or organization.

Don’t have time for a 30-minute walk or workout session? Join us as we #Take10. Break it down into three 10-minute sessions and work those into your daily routine. Link your fitness tracker when you register to automatically record your daily activity.

In the challenge, communities across the state compete for the most points.

Register and earn 500 points. Register before Jan. 5 and earn 250 bonus points. Did you participate last year? If so, you can simply reactivate your profile. Answer a few more questions while setting up your profile and you’ve earned an additional 250 points. That’s 1,000 points for just a few minutes of work.

Watch the Living Healthier video and add another 500. A breakdown of points available for each activity is available at www.ittcommunitychallenge.com.

Winners earn grant money for health-related improvements in their community, plus bragging rights.

Statewide, communities with similar populations compete, but we’ve also had a healthy competition in Galveston County. Texas City has dominated the county for the past three years and has also had a strong showing in the statewide competition, finishing second in the mid-size category in 2019 and third in 2017 and 2018.

Community leaders play a large role in the Community Challenge. City and school district officials can sign pledges, earning their respective community points. Schools can get in on the action with campus and district pledges.

Businesses can also take part, earning points for organizing a healthy workplace event, completing the work healthier assessment and signing a work healthier/nonprofit leader pledge.

We’re here to help you along the way. We’ll offer Motivation Monday tips, healthy living resources and ideas plus weekly totals by community so we can see how each city in the county is stacking up to its neighbors.

Check out www.gchd.org/challenge for more information on how to participate. Follow us at @GCHDinfo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for weekly totals and motivation.

We wish you a very happy and healthy 2020.

Kathy Barroso is chief executive officer of the Galveston County Health District.

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