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      Marquette competes in wellness challenge

      The city of Marquette is competing in My Big Green Gym Blue's community challenge. It's a collaborative effort between Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Recreation Parks Association and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

      For some, exercising is a hobby, therapy, or a goal.

      "Just do it to take your mind of off things. Honestly my mind feels ten times better exercising than just sitting around and hanging out," said Danielle Kowalski. "So I have more energy and definitely more motivated to do things."

      However, it could also be for a good cause like helping your city in the My Big Green Gym Blue's challenge. The city of Marquette is competing against Grand Traverse county and Kalamazoo in this community wellness competition.

      It's a way to promote healthy, active lifestyles.

      "It helps improve your mood and helps you sleep better. Of course, physical activity controls your weight which decreases the risk of a lot of diseases," said Jenna Zdunek, YMCA. "Physical activity strengthens your bones and muscles. It just helps you get through your daily activities."

      All you have to do is some form of physical activity indoor or outdoor, whether it's biking or taking an exercise class. However, if you are not an avid exerciser, there are some simple things you can change in your day: taking a stroll in downtown after dinner, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a jog on your lunch break.

      After you register for the challenge at the Marquette city website, you can log your miles or minutes you spent exercising.

      "Every time we can get people active, out moving, enjoying the resources, I think it's a phenomenal opportunity. This area has so much to offer; if it's a hike in the woods, if it's a walk along the beach, if it's a bike ride along some of our beautiful pathways," said Jon Swenson, assistant director of community services.

      The challenge ends June 22. The city with the most miles wins a $10,000 prize.

      For more information click here.