This Saturday, February 2 marks the official kickoff to the 5th Annual New Bedford Fitness Challenge.

This year's challenge offers more than 130 classes with instructors from more than ten area fitness centers. Everything from group power classes, to yoga, barre fitness, rowing, strength training, spinning and more.

Click HERE for the online calendar. Please note that a few classes will require pre-registration. These links will appear on the website starting at 11 am on Saturday, February 2.

The cost is just $5 to access all six weeks of class offers. As a "challenge," there will be opportunities to earn prizes too. Just know that it's not optional.

We spoke to New Bedford Fitness Challenge Chairperson, Ashley Bendiksen about what draws residents to the challenge year after year.

This is such an amazing and affordable way to try out local fitness studios and a wide variety of unique classes. Getting fit and developing healthy habits is so much easier when you find something you love. Our fitness challenge provides every opportunity for challengers to figure that out. Every year, we engage hundreds of area residents to participate. With even more classes added to the calendar this year, I'm excited to watch this continue to grow. There's a class for everyone, no matter what your current fitness level is.

Kickoff and registration will take place this Saturday, February 2 from 11 am to 3 pm at the YMCA downtown up in their aerobics room located at 25 So. Water Street. Registration costs just $5. Cash is preferred. Here's what you can enjoy when you stop by:
11 to 11:30 am - Registration opens all day
11:30 am to12:15 pm: Cardio with Jennie Gomes
12:45 to 1:30 pm - Yoga with Erin Poyant
2 to 2:45 pm - Nutrition panel with three or more speakers (meal prep, healthy swaps, nutrition tips, and more).
2 to 2:45 pm -  Chair massages.

You can read more about joining the challenge HERE. You can also join the private Facebook group for all challengers HERE. Instructors can communicate with members of the group and motivate one another. "You can share tips, photos, wins, and class comments!"

If you cannot attend the kickoff, you may register at the YMCA after the kickoff date (preferred), or at any first class you attend. Instructors will each have a limited stack of cards and forms.