New participants step up to "The Challenge"

More than 6,100 Western New Yorkers have demonstrated that there is no off-season when it comes to taking the steps to live a healthier life by joining this spring's "Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge."

Through the first two weeks of the Challenge, participants have logged at least 5,450 hours of exercise, while consuming more than 77,000 servings of fruits and vegetables and 131,800 glasses of water. In addition, the community-wide health and wellness initiative has seen a significant increase in participation since last fall's inaugural Challenge, as nearly 3,900 new participants have signed up for the latest round.

The six-week Challenge, which runs through Sunday, May 31, is aimed at motivating individuals to get healthier by meeting daily goals and completing "extra points" challenges for points to win prizes, including a trip for two to London to see the Bills play Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium on October 25. Those interested in signing up can do so at any time during the Challenge at buffalobills.com/thechallenge.

How the Challenge works

Participants in the Health & Wellness Challenge earn points by meeting three main daily goals:

1) 20 minutes of physical activity a day

2) Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

3) Drink eight glasses of water each day

Participants can also complete one "extra points" challenge each day to gain more chances to win. Each challenge integrates health tips to help them learn about fitness and nutrition to stay healthy even after the challenge is completed. As an added bonus, participants who refer their friends, family and co-workers can earn 10 extra points for each person who registers for the Challenge. Participants can keep track of their progress and learn about that day's "extra points" challenge by logging-in at buffalobills.com/thechallenge.

In addition to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, five participants are randomly selected each week to win great prizes. Among the prizes that have been awarded so far include a Fred Jackson autographed mini-football helmet, a Sammy Watkins autographed cleat, a WiFi tablet, two $500 gift cards to a sporting goods store, two $250 gift cards for workout apparel, a $150 gift card to use toward one wearable activity tracker, and two $150 Visa® gift cards. The winner of the grand prize trip to London will be announced upon conclusion of the Challenge.

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