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MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami) — Get up, and get moving in Miami Gardens!

It’s a city-wide challenge and the mayor is the main motivator.

Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert is trading in his suit and tie for a sweat suit, challenging his residents to get active, fit, and healthy together with him.

“We’re doing this together so that you can make it a habit,” he told the large crowd at the kick-off event.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert’s Fitness Challenge offers Miami Gardens residents a chance to join him up to three times a week for workout sessions.

“The whole thing is that we’re gonna get healthy together. A lot of times people don’t exercise cause they don’t have anyone to exercise with,” explains Mayor Gilbert.

By the looks of the large turnout at the January 6th kick-off event at Betty T. Ferguson Recreational Complex, that’s not an excuse anymore. Several hundred registered for the free initial health assessment so they can start tracking their progress as they tackle the challenge.

Zumba, yoga, power-walking and aqua aerobics are just some of the activities they can expect to encounter in the coming weeks. They’ll also get healthy cooking tips.

Participants have different reasons for taking Gilbert up on the challenge.

For Miami Gardens resident Linda Julien, it’s one part weight-loss and one-part general health. Julien says it’s also a great way to meet neighbors, too!

“It is free! And we can come together and be one as a community,” says Julien.

The fitness activities are for people of all interests and abilities. For Mayor Gilbert, the focus is on health.

“We want as many people as we can healthy as long as we can, that’s how we become a healthier community,” says Mayor Gilbert.

The program is a 60-day commitment, but Mayor Gilbert wants it to have a long-lasting effect on participants.

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