Little Rock — The Blue & You Fitness Challenge celebrates its 15th year in 2018
with an expanded purpose and new theme. When the Challenge launched in 2004, its purpose was to
encourage people to increase their cardiovascular activity. The new theme of “Start your fitness journey”
allows participants to track their activity on a new interactive website and get health tips along the way.
“Our 15th year is the perfect opportunity to encourage our participants’ overall health,” said Curtis Barnett,
president and CEO of Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “The Challenge has evolved over the years,
thanks to our participants telling us what they need to be successful, but its core remains the same: to
encourage people to take small steps, every day, to work toward fitness. It really is a journey.”
The Challenge is hosted by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas Department of Health and the
Arkansas Department of Human Services. Participants from around the United States enter this three-month
competition and gain points based on their activities.
The Challenge’s website underwent a major makeover that features an interactive map. For each day
participants log activity, they will earn a star at a location on the map. Each star gives participants messages
– health tips for how they can prioritize health in a small but meaningful way. In order to complete the
Challenge, participants must earn 30 stars, replacing previous years’ 30 points.
“The new messages align more closely with the Challenge’s expanded purpose: that good health habits
aren’t just about the gym,” explained Barnett. “What you eat, your emotional state, being rested – those
habits matter, too. We also want to remind people that we know it’s easy to get discouraged when we fall off
the health-wagon, but really – all of us, myself included – can start or restart being healthy, anytime.”
Other new features of the 2018 contest allow participants to log eligible calisthenics, free weights, Pilates,
resistance bands and weight machines. Also, participants can log multiple days of activities at one time.
“Our participants completed surveys and their answers showed us this is what they wanted,” said Linda
Kyzer, wellness program manager at Arkansas Blue Cross and the Challenge’s committee leader. “We
hope these new features help past participants and attract new ones.”
The Fitness Challenge begins March 1 of every year. Businesses use the event as part of their wellness
programs, while friends and family use the contest as a chance to stay or get in shape, infuse new energy
into their routines, remain connected and have fun.
Group registration for the Challenge ends February 14; the deadline for individuals inside groups is
February 28. For more information, call 1-800-686-2609 or visit blueandyoufitnesschallenge-ark.com.
About Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Founded in 1948, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association, is the largest health insurer in Arkansas. Arkansas Blue Cross and its affiliates
have more than 2,800 employees.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is comprised of 36 independent, community-based and locally
operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 106
million members — one in three Americans.
About Arkansas Department of Health
The mission of Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is to protect and improve the health and well-being
of all Arkansans. The ADH accomplishes this mission by responding to outbreaks and other public health
emergencies, implementing programs to educate and improve health outcomes, licensing and certification
of professionals and facilities, and providing evidence-based preventive health services in communities
throughout the state. In 2016, the ADH received national accreditation through the Public Health
About Arkansas Department of Human Services
The mission of the Arkansas Department of Human Services is to improve the quality of life of all
Arkansans by protecting the vulnerable, fostering independence and promoting better health through a
wide array of services, public assistance programs and licensing and regulatory functions.