Long before most people wake up, Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass has begun her day.
About 5 a.m., she climbs out of bed, pops in one of her many workout DVDs and gets moving. She raises her heart rate, burns calories and prepares herself for her often hectic day ahead.
“For years I have been exercising in the mornings before I leave the house,” said Mrs. Bass, a partner in the Tyler CPA firm of Gollob Morgan Peddy. “It gets my body going and makes a huge difference. I exercise, get out of the shower and then it’s ‘let’ go.’”
To encourage people to get up and moving, Mrs. Bass also hosts the Mayor FitWalk held at 7:30 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month.
In November, the mayor and dozens of citizens took a brisk walk along a stretch of Rose Rudman Trail. Last month, the walk was held on the trail near Glass Recreation Center.
The Mayor FitWalk provides an opportunity to showcase the walking trails and other public recreation facilities in the city.
“We go to different parts of town (for FitWalk) to show people that they have exercise opportunities in their neighborhoods,” says Mayor Bass. “People have options even if they don’t have a lot of money (to spend on exercise programs).”
Everyone is invited to take part in FitWalk. Information on the monthly location is posted on the city’s website. Reservations are not required.
The city, says Mayor Bass, is committed to providing walking trails and public exercise facilities as way to improve the quality of life in Tyler.
“When you take care of yourself, you do have a better quality of life. Exercising is what we all can do to feel better,” says the mayor.
She also applauds the efforts of the new Fit City Challenge, a community-based initiative that uses the media to encourage citizens to exercise more, eat nutritious foods and make healthy lifestyle choices. Mayor Bass spoke at the Fit City Challenge kickoff event held in October in Bergfeld Park. The event featured speakers, group exercise sessions and dozens of healthcare and fitness program providers.
“It (Fit City Challenge) is providing a consistent message and is creating an awareness and educational focus about the benefits of exercise. That ongoing message was the missing link putting all the pieces together.”
Mayor Bass hopes more people will embrace fitness by taking part in an activity that they enjoy.
“You have to find what works for you. Find what motivates you and then stick with it.”