If you made a resolution to get fit this year, McKinney has a new program to help you reach your goals. The Live Healthy Texas 10-week challenge from Jan. 28 through April 5 is a team-based approach to help people reach fitness and weight goals. The online platform enables participants to sign up and track physical activity, weight loss, or both, and it provides meal plans, video workouts, healthy recipes and nutrition and wellness resources.

A $20 fee for each participant includes access to the online tracking system and resources, plus with a year-long subscription to a national lifestyle magazine and a T-shirt. Registration is open at livehealthytexas.org. Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch is offering free health assessments to participants before and after the challenge to help measure success. The first assessment is at Old Settler’s Gym, 1201 E. Louisiana St., on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The public Live Health Texas Challenge is part of the new Mayor’s Health Partnership initiative. McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller together with the McKinney Independent School District (MISD), Cooper Fitness Center and Baylor Medical Center at McKinney launched the program last month with a mission “to promote a healthy, active community.”

“The team-centered approach of Live Healthy Texas fits perfectly with our community focus of the Mayor’s Health Partnership. We want to encourage residents to set and reach goals for a healthier lifestyle, no matter their current fitness level. Co-workers, families and friends are teaming up to use the challenge to create better health habits together, and a little friendly competition is always a great motivator,” said McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller.

Last year was the first opportunity for McKinney residents to join the Live Health Texas Challenge. Resident groups logged more than 172,776 minutes of activity – nearly 2,880 hours – and lost nearly 2.5% in the weight category. City of McKinney employees are participating in the program this year for the fifth year in a row. In 2010, city employees won an award as the Healthiest City in North Texas for the level of activity and weight lost through the program.

The sign-up process to participate is easy.

•  Step 1: Form a team of 2-10 individuals and appoint a team captain.

•  Step 2: Choose a team name and gather team members’ e-mail addresses and T-shirt sizes.

•  Step 3: Register using the Group ID LHTCITIZENS. The team captain registers the team at livehealthytexas.org using the group ID LHTCITIZENS. The entry fee is $20 for each participant.

Teams may register in the Minutes of Activity Division, the Weight Loss Division or both. In either case, individuals track and record minutes of activity and weight loss which is used to calculate your team's percentage weight loss and total activity minutes. This year, City of McKinney staff will help keep track of members of the community who register with the code LHTCITIZENS. At the end of the program, data will show how many activity minutes and weight lost was entered from teams in McKinney. Winning teams will be eligible for prizes and recognition at a community event in May.

About McKinney

McKinney, Texas, is unique by nature. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., McKinney has a current population of nearly 141,000. Incorporated in 1848, the city is located 30 miles north of Dallas and is the county seat of Collin County. McKinney offers rolling hills, lush trees, a historic downtown square and unique neighborhoods and developments. The city ranks No. 2 on the Money Magazine Best Places to Live list for 2012. Visit the city’s website at mckinneytexas.org.

About Mayor’s Health Partnership in McKinney

The Mayor’s Health Partnership in McKinney was launched with a mission “to promote a healthy, active community.” McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller, the McKinney Independent School District (MISD), Cooper Fitness Center and Baylor Medical Center at McKinney have joined together to support the citywide initiative. Health- and fitness-based events and programs, most of them at little or no cost to participants, will be available throughout the year and are promoted at www.facebook.com/mckinneyhealth.