MONTCLAIR, NJ - Montclair residents have the opportunity to participate in Mayor Robert Jackson's new initiative on health and wellness. The Mayor's wellness challenge kick-off event was held on Monday at the Montclair fire department headquarters located at 1 Pine Street.

The Mayor’s Wellness Challenge is a program designed to help people lose weight, increase fitness levels and adopt healthier lifestyles by offering opportunities for teams and individuals to take up a fitness challenge.

The 12-week Mayor’s Wellness Challenge kicked off with a weigh-in and the last official weigh-in is scheduled for Monday, April 3. Throughout the 12-week challenge, a variety of activities will be lined up by the township to jump-start the New Year.

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Multiple community resources collaborated to help residents in preparation for a successful start to 2017. Vendors in attendance were including, but not limited to HackensackUMC Mountainside, Fleet Feet, Montclair Health Department, Davis Integrated Medicine, to name a few.

Florey Cerpa-Cruz from HackensackUMC Mountainside, stated that "...every few weeks, residents will have an opportunity to weigh-in, check their bmi, blood pressure and speak with medical professionals about their health and progress."

HackensackUMC Mountainside will provide free individualized health evaluations to participants. Participants also had an opportunity to meet with a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist to discuss individual goals, including lifestyle changes and an exercise plan to attain those goals. 

Many township employees, including Fire Chief John Herrmann and Deputy Chief Robert Duncan have formed a team to focus on health and wellness goals.

There is a $10 registration fee (download registration form) and participants can join at any point during the 12 weeks. 

“The Challenge offers members of the community a wonderful incentive to participate in activities that not only support healthy lifestyles but are also fun,” said Mayor Robert Jackson. “The Mayor’s Wellness Committee and local sponsors are willing to support the Township because they recognize the importance of committing to a healthy lifestyle.”

The program is open to Montclair residents, people who work in Montclair, and township and school employees. Participants registering can choose to compete on a team of five people, or as an individual.

“People really seem to like the team option since it’s a great way to stay motivated,” said Mayor Jackson. “It’ll be great to see groups of residents, employees, and friends getting together and competing to make lifestyle changes. Teams also provide a great support system,” said the Mayor.

During the kick-off challengers will obtain baseline weight and measurements, and pick a ‘home scale’ location for weigh-ins (see registration form for locations). Weigh-ins will be conducted every second week and will be available during daytime and evening hours.

Resources and group exercise classes will be available throughout the 12-week program that will allow participants to put their plans into action.

“Our goal is to offer as many health and wellness options for our challengers as possible so they can learn what works best for them,” said Township Health Officer and Challenge coordinator Sue Portuese. “We want our challengers to take what they’ve learned in the 12 weeks and apply it to their everyday lives beyond the challenge."

Prizes will be awarded to both the individual and team that loses the highest percentage of body weight by the end of the 12 weeks. An awards ceremony is currently being planned for Monday, April 10.

For more information about the Mayor’s Wellness Challenge, please visit or call the Montclair Health Department at 973-509-4970.

The Mayor’s Wellness Challenge is part of a collaborative effort made possible by HackensackUMC Mountainside, Montclair Board of Education, Montclair State University, Fleet Feet Sports of Montclair, YMCA, Bike & Walk Montclair, New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, Montclair Public Library, Integrated Medicine, Sister to Sister and Montclair Business Improvement District and the Township of Montclair.

The Mayors Wellness Campaign (MWC) is a statewide community health initiative in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities. The MWC is a program that gives mayors tools and strategies to champion healthy and active living and to improve the overall health of their communities. For more information, visit http://www.njhcqi.org.