RoCo Fit, the free Couch to 5k program presented by the Rogers County Health Department, kicks off its ninth year on March 12. For the past eight years, RoCo Fit volunteer mentors have encouraged participants to reach all types of goals, from finishing a 5k (3.1 miles) to reducing depression and stress. Whatever your goal – physical or emotional, walking or running with this group will help you accomplish it.

With the guidance of experienced mentors using a 12-week structured progressive schedule, participants will have fun and finish a mock 5k race. Professionals will educate on form, injury prevention, core strength, nutrition, and safety during short free clinics. In addition, participants will receive weekly informational emails and motivational posts on the program’s RoCo LoCoMotion Facebook page. Program incentives will be given to all who finish 70% of the program workouts.

RoCo Fit has offered this free program to the community since 2012 with over 2,100 unduplicated participants having registered and reaped the benefits. Many past participants have shared their experiences through written testimonial. Here are a few:

“I want to give you all a great big thank you for all your support during on my return to ROCO. As you know, I missed 2 sessions because of heart surgery and limited exercise. I’m back now, and it’s still a ‘work in progress’. I am not where I want to be physically, but with your help and encouragement, I’m getting there. It makes it a lot easier with your positive attitude and true desire to help. Thank you for all your help and support.”

“When I first signed up, I didn’t know what to expect of myself or Roco, but I did see it as giving myself a challenge and a goal. To become fitter and stronger. After a few weeks of getting into the swing of things, I was really enjoying the walks, meeting people, and I looked forward to each Tuesday and Thursday. I also enjoyed the extra classes like Zumba, self-defense and line dancing. I’m glad that I made it all the way to week 12, I had a foot injury but I made it! Last night I added 1 minute and 33 seconds to my post-mile workout. I was quite proud of myself for that. I am now the proud owner of a Roco shirt and will wear it with pride. Roco is a wonderful way to get the community to come together to get fitter and healthier! I will definitely be back in the spring for another session!”

The first walk OR walk/run workout is on Tuesday, March 12th, 6:00 p.m. at Claremore Lake Park, newest shelter past bathrooms and across lake from boat and fishing dock; look for sign by shelter. Workouts for all fitness levels continue every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:00 p.m. in Claremore Lake Park. RoCo Fit is open and free of charge to anyone 13 years old or older that live, work, play, and/or learn in Rogers County. To learn more about this health focused fun group and/or to register visit us online at www.rocofit.org. You may also register in person at the first few workouts or print registration forms found on http://rogers.health.ok.gov and bring to the first workout. If you have questions, please call or email Renetta Harrison, 918-341-3166, renettah@health.ok.gov.