Houston Getting Fitter

Despite having dropped from first to fifth on Men's Fitness magazine Fattest City list, Houston's Wellness Council is stepping up its efforts.

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The Mayor's Wellness Council has the task of getting Houston to be one of the fittest city's in America. Chair Herb Lipsman says they can't do anything about the number of fast food restaurants in the city.

"We're not going to tell restaurant chains how, how they can do their business and whether they can open here or not. What we can do however is we can get the entire community more physically active. We can influence that. And hopefully if they're being more physically active, they're going to be more prone to be more sensitive to their diet and nutrition."

Lipsman says physical activities in Houston, such as marathons and walks, have enjoyed increasing number of participants. The Wellness Council is also approaching CEO's of major employers, restaurant chains and schools to committ to fitness. The hope is they will be a positive influence on employees.

The Wellness Council is also supporting Marathon Kids. In the first year, 15,000 Houston elementary students walked or ran a quarter mile everyday for four months. The program started in Austin where 50,000 kids take part. Outside of schools, the Wellness Council is encouraging Houstonians to take part in the Texas Round Up which is going on right now. Lipsman says the goal is to get 20,000 Houstonians signed up and tracking their work-outs in the program. A link can be found at kuhf.org.

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