|Tom Tressler (center) Executive Director with Go Vibrant participants|
For one reason or another, exercise falls to the bottom of the priority list, and a healthy meal loses its battle to a drive-thru. That’s why Go Vibrant, a local non-profit organization is cooking up easy and fun ways to make Cincinnati a more healthy and active community.
Mark Jeffreys, formerly an Associate Marketing Director at Proctor & Gamble, launched the program two years ago with the sole purpose of making a healthy lifestyle more fun. “Mark has a passion for health and wellbeing and saw that our collective approach as a society toward making us healthy was not moving the needle,” says Tom Tressler, Executive Director and board member at Go Vibrant.
But how do they plan to do it? Tressler highlights three areas that Go Vibrant is focusing on right now.
Go Vibrant plans to expand the network of walking routes that are already in place downtown to areas such as Mt. Adams, Covington and Northside. “These routes are enablers of an active lifestyle,” says Tressler.
The non-profit organization is concerned about other organizations in the community. They don’t host their own events but rather supports the events that are already in place that promote health and fitness.
Go Vibrant’s recent presence in community functions has caused a bit of a stir. Their unconventional ways of approaching food and fitness to make them more fun have caught the public’s attention. “At the Taste of Cincinnati and the Hyde Park Blast we had an experience with a fun stationary bike with a smoothie maker on it – not something you see every day,” explains Tressler. And while you’re probably not going to buy an exercise bike to blend your next daiquiri, Go Vibrant accomplished their goal of getting people to think about how they can change their lifestyle in small steps every day.
Currently in the word is Go Vibrant’s newest initiative to create healthier lifestyles. The organization is teaming up with some of Cincinnati’s most beloved restaurants to include easily recognized healthy menu options that also taste great. A total of 19 menu items were offered from 14 restaurants for review by Go Vibrant.
“To be irresistible, it needs to taste good,” says Tressler, “which is something we have emphasized to restaurants so we can help to shift the paradign that health equals tastes bad.” Chosen menu items will meet guidelines laid out by the American Heart Association for healthy eating but with the promise of a finger-licking good dining experience.
Go Vibrant invites everyone to come ‘play’at this year’s Oktoberfest scheduled for September 21 through 23. Tressler hints that Go Vibrant will be the host of an exciting display at the festival but he wasn’t spilling all the beans, informing us that anyone curious about their display “will have to look for us that weekend and find out for themselves.”
So what can we do to beat out Minneapolis and take our place as the nations healthiest? Just follow Go Vibrant’s lead and start taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. While you’re at it, grab a friend and work with them to make you both healthier. Tressler says, “our community would need to have an additional 156,000 people become physically active within the last 30 days and 105,000 eat 5 plus services of fruit and vegetables daily in order for Cincinnati to reach the top 10 rankings.” While this sounds like a lot, the path to a healthier lifestyle always starts with the first step.