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19,000 took part in Independent Health-Buffalo Bills challenge

More than 19,000 Western New Yorkers signed up for the spring Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge, making it the most successful challenge to date.

Overall, 3,285 new participants registered for the online communitywide health and wellness initiative, which ran from April 24 through June 4.

The series of six-week challenges – which started in the fall of 2014 – was designed to help people bring more physical activity and good nutrition into their daily lives. Prizes sweeten the desire for challenge participants, who are asked to meet three daily goals: Do 20 minutes of physical activity; eat five servings of fruits and vegetables; and drink eight glasses of water.

Participants tracked their daily progress online at

Gary Frier, of Depew, the latest challenge grand prize winner, won a trip to South Beach, Fla., to see the Bills take on the Miami Dolphins on New Year’s Eve.

“I couldn’t believe it when I heard I was the grand prize winner. It’s definitely something I was thinking about during the challenge, but didn’t expect to actually win. Being the last game of the season, I’m hoping to go to Miami and see the Bills clinch a playoff spot with a victory,” said Frier, a longtime Bills fan.

“I have participated in all six Health & Wellness Challenges because it helps motivate me to get moving and be healthy. I’ve been able to maintain my weight by eating fruits and vegetables and drinking water throughout the day. Plus, since I was already participating in a team walking program at work, it was easy for me to earn points for being physically active each day and to take part in the Steps Challenge."

Independent Health and the Bills plan a seventh challenge during the coming NFL season.


Twitter: @BNrefresh

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