Healthy Communities at Columbus Regional Health is challenging residents to revisit their New Year’s resolutions and take a month to develop healthy habits.

The free, month-long Community Wellness Challenge begins April 1 and continues through April 30, offering prizes for people who adopt and maintain healthy habits based on a challenge list of activities.

It’s the first time Healthy Communities has offered the challenge community-wide, said Beth Morris, director of Community Health Partnerships at Columbus Regional Hospital.

The program was first rolled out to Columbus Regional Hospital employees in February, and 162 individuals participated, she said. The February employee program was then tweaked and modified for the community wellness program.

Healthy Communities hopes to have as many as 500 local residents participate in the Wellness Challenge, she said.

Participants who complete at least 24 different wellness activities — including six from the wellness pillars of purpose, nutrition, mindfulness and activity — are eligible to win prizes.

The Community Wellness Challenge is designed to nudge people out of their current habits into lifestyle changes that lead to more energy and better health, Morris said. The timing is purposeful, close to the beginning of a new year, to encourage residents to revisit their good intentions as a new year begins, she said.

Using the idea of team motivation and support, people who enroll in the challenge are encouraged to ask their friends, family, church family and co-workers to participate, too, and do the challenges together, she said.

The challenges, divided into four groups, range from starting each day with a healthy breakfast to scheduling a health checkup and walking 10,000 steps per day for five consecutive days.

The challenge gives participants a promo code to try ColumBIKE free for a one-time bike ride. ColumBIKE, the city’s bike-sharing initiative, offers eight bike-rental stations, many of them downtown but including one at Columbus Regional Hospital. Seventy eight bicycles are available to rent by the hour or day to travel around the city.

Morris said Healthy Communities isn’t quite ready to announce the prizes in the Community Wellness Challenge yet, but the winner of the hospital employee wellness challenge chose from a year’s membership with ColumBIKE, valued at $80, or a $30 gift certificate to White River Running Co. in downtown Columbus.

Similar prizes are planned for the Community Wellness Challenge, Morris said.

Some of the challenges are less exercise-related and more community-minded, including completing a random act of kindness or signing up for a class to learn something new.

The Challenge Packet may be downloaded from the Healthy Communities website or Facebook page, or is available by emailing the agency at Packets are also available at WellConnect, 237 Washington St.

The packets, with the activities checked off, need to be returned by email to Healthy Communities or dropped off at WellConnect no later than May 3.

Signing up

To sign up for the Healthy Communities Community Wellness Challenge, visit and download the challenge packet.

The packet also is available on the the Healthy Community’s Facebook page at or may be obtained by emailing the organization at

Packets are available at WellConnect, 237 Washington St., in downtown Columbus after March 22.

Residents need to complete the challenge by April 30 and turn in their packets to Healthy Communities by May 3 to be eligible for prizes. Packets may be emailed to or dropped off at WellConnect.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.