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City of Phoenix kicks off new fitness campaign

Dozens of valley school kids showed up at Phoenix College on Wednesday to participate in the first day of a City of Phoenix fitness initiative.

“We learned that Phoenix ranked 26th out of 50 [large cities] in the American Fitness Index [for health and community fitness status],” Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela told those in attendance.

The Phoenix City Council knows that the city has room for improvement, but Valenzuela has a set a goal.

“We knew that there was a lot of work to do and a lot of potential,” he said. “We know that it is an achieveable goal to not only be in the top 10, but for Phoenix to be the top city in the country [on the AFI list].”

To reach his goal, Valenzuela announced the start of the FitPhx campaign.

“FitPhx is a comprehensive program that will connect hundreds of programs to people throughout the city of Phoenix who are interested in achieving a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise,” Valenzuela said.

Olympic Gold Medalist and Phoenix resident Misty Hyman said there’s no reason that people in Phoenix can’t get more exercise.

“Here in Phoenix, we have amazing resources, and amazing facilities and we have amazing weather to top it all off,” she said. “This is a perfect place for everyone to get outside, be active and have a healthier lifestyle.”

Wednesday’s event included Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton leading the kids and a group from an area senior center in exercises. Stanton then beat Valenzuela and Hyman in a foot race on the track.

The campaign will use social media, community events and partnerships to encourage exercise. A website is in the planning stages.