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Rockford reigns on top for fitness trainers

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — As we dive into 2020, you might be getting used to a fitness routine. But where you live could affect your ability to stay on track.

Out of 312 cities nationwide, Rockford is the fifth best city for fitness trainers. That's according to a recent AdvisorSmith Study.

"People are hungry to be better when it comes to their wellness," said OSF Medical Center Manager of Wellness Services Nathan Hamman.

"From the very very beginner who wants step-by-step guidance for a 12-week program to somebody much more seasoned who is training maybe for a big event like a triathlon," said YMCA of Rock River Valley Healthy Living Director Gina Karvelis.

The study looked at Rockford's salary for fitness trainers and employment rate. One Rockford health system says the top spots could come from a high demand.

"We keep getting more and more referrals from our primary care physicians about people needing to lose weight or diet and exercise in order to curve some of their other health conditions, whether it's high cholesterol or high blood pressure," said Hamman.

"It's so busy. People are out doing things, getting their fitness in the way that best suits them. So I think it's a great thing to see and I definitely think Rockford is right there keeping up," said Karvelis.

Patients and employees alike can work on their fitness goals at OSF Medical Center.

"We're working on making health and wellness, fitness, nutrition easier for our employees right now," said Hamman.

OSF Medical Center's Blue Zone Project is the first of its kind in the state. The work certification offers 15 minute walks, social interactions and healthy eating in house.

"We're hoping that will spread to the rest of the city," said Hamman.

Because when it comes to fitness, Rockford's got you covered.

"Having that large variety with all the different types of fitness centers, the outdoor recreation areas that we have here in town helps meets those needs," said Hamman.

OSF Medical Center hopes to get approval and start its Blue Zone Project in early 2021.

Cassandra Bretl

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