Participation in the 2012 Healthy Community Challenge is lagging in Coquitlam, where only about 100 people have signed up for the provincial initiative.
That's well behind frontrunner Abbotsford, which is boasting more than 500 participants, and Surrey, which has about 200. Langley is slightly ahead of Coquitlam with about 130 participants.
"We're really encouraging people to get involved and take advantage of all the free things," said Matt Young of Innovative Fitness.
The Healthy Community Challenge, which the mayors of the four cities are promoting by challenging each other's communities to get the most people involved, aims to promote healthy, active lifestyles in B.C.
People can sign up on the website (www.healthycommunitychallenge.com) to record their eating and exercise regimes and earn points for each positive activity, such as a healthy meal or a walk to the store. Points are deducted, however, for things like smoking.
The community that earns the most points wins the event, and individuals are also eligible for prizes like a spa weekend.
Throughout the challenge, participants can log on to the website and ask questions on diet and exercise to the personal training company Innovative Fitness, whose staff offer free guidance for people looking to stay healthy.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart is battling with fellow mayors Dianne Watts (Surrey), Peter Fassbender (Langley City) and Bruce Banman (Abbotsford) and, now that he has his doctor's okay to start exercising, he'll be seeing a trainer this week to set up a regimen.
And he's inviting everyone to join him on the Saturday morning walks with the mayor at Mundy Park (meet by 8 a.m. at the Spani Pool parking lot at Hillcrest and Foster).
Stewart, who has vowed to complete the Coquitlam Crunch trail by the end of the challenge, also suggested the weekend walks will start rotating to different parks to take advantage of the city's trails.
A group walk is a great step because a wide network of support - which is available for Healthy Community Challenge participants - is a big determinant in maintaining consistency in a healthy lifestyle, Youn said.
"It makes the process of being healthy, which is not easy, easier."
Besides, Young added, there's a lot of community pride on the line in being the most active community.
The last day to sign up for the challenge is April 25.