The Boonslick Area YMCA is starting up its annual fitness challenge, encouraging people to exercise throughout the holiday season.

The challenge is to be active for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and anyone is welcome to participate, Healthy Living Director Vanessa Dorman said. Participants log their activity every day, and three weeks in, they can bring in their log to get a free t-shirt. After 6 weeks, you can enter into a prize drawing.

“Hopefully they recapture that feeling of how good it feels to move your body,” Dorman said.

The challenge is based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendation that people be active for at least 30 minutes a day to control weight and reduce the risk of diseases, Dorman said. Last year, about 150 people participated, she said.

The challenge starts Monday and ends January 1, to encourage people to stay active even when they get busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas, she said. The activity doesn’t have to be a hard workout, it can be as simple as walking to work.

“We’re not even saying you have to work out, just walking for 30 minutes a day is good,” Dorman said.

Anyone can sign up for the challenge for free at the YMCA, or by calling 660-882-8500.

The YMCA is hosting another event to get people moving through the holidays, as the annual Turkey Trot is set for 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, starting at the YMCA. The 5K run is usually the largest of the six races the YMCa hosts each year, Dorman said. Sign ups for the Turkey Trot, which is $20 for adults and $10 for children under 19, are open until the race starts.