SRPMIC Diabetes Prevention Provides Community Families with Fitbits for New Wellness Tracking Program 

Wechoni Schurz-Pilger and her children D’Andre and Diondria pick up their new Fitbits to start the yearlong Wellness Tracking Program.

SRPMIC Diabetes Prevention Services began a new program in early August to help Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members and their families develop a healthy lifestyle through tracking their progress with a Fitbit. The Health and Wellness Tracking Program has a limit of 200 people, and in less than a week all 200 of the spots were filled. Those who signed up received a free Fitbit. 

In July, the Way of Life (WOLF) Fitness Center sent out an email to everyone signed up at the Fitness Center explaining the yearlong Health and Wellness Tracking Program. They also announced the program on the WOLF’s and the Community’s Facebook pages. 

“We were targeting individuals who are just starting to work out or who are living a sedentary lifestyle and want to try to get active,” said Senior Physical Fitness Specialist Dion Begay. “[If] you get a $150 piece of equipment that’s going to help you out, that will [generate] some interest, especially something like this tracker.”

This program was something that SRPMIC Diabetes Prevention Services was planning to start in early 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic they shelved the idea. Now that people are starting to come back and work out at the fitness center, they decided to go head and move forward with the program. 

“We ordered a bunch of Fitbits and put it out there, and [the program] filled up in a week. This week we’re doing a weigh-in and the participants are picking up their Fitbits,” said Begay. 

In the Tracking Program, participants also will participate in seminars to help them achieve their wellness goals. Their first challenge is to log 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day. Each challenge will last 30 days, and with each challenge they are going to learn a new skill and learn how to use a new function on their Fitbit. 

In the seminars, “We will be showing them how to set up their Fitbits, how to sync them, as well as going over the what their numbers mean on their weigh-ins. We will be discussing things such as basal metabolic rate, which is how many calories you burn in a day; the difference between body fat percentage and fat mass, because people might confuse those; and other topics such as total body water and how much water each person should have,” said Begay. 

Begay hopes this process of learning little by little will help keep participants from getting overwhelmed so they will continue to move toward a healthier lifestyle over time. 

If you are in the Health and Wellness Tracking Program and have any questions or need any information, contact Dion Begay at (480) 362-7320 or

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