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Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Sponsors 2nd Annual Wilkes-Barre Criterium

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August 17, 2010

Bicycle race, wellness expo promote health and exercise in Downtown Wilkes-Barre

August 17, 2010, Wilkes-Barre, PA- For the second year in a row, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is joining other local businesses as the lead sponsor of the Wilkes-Barre Health and Wellness Festival and criterium cycling race, which is expected to draw racers and crowds from across the region into the city’s downtown on September 3 and 4 (Labor Day weekend).
Organized by Facet Cycling LLC and 3:16 Athletic Wear, the event will include separate competitions for professionals, children and casual riders throughout the day, as well as health and fitness vendors exhibiting on Public Square.

BCNEPA is sponsoring the USA Cycling Federation State Championship Final and the Blue Cross Wellness Pavilion at the vendor expo to encourage area residents to learn more about their health and to introduce exercise into their lifestyles.

Event highlights and locations include:

• The Health and Fitness Festival, including the Blue Cross Wellness Pavilion, from 5-9 p.m. on September 3 and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on September 4 throughout Public Square in Wilkes-Barre.
• Bicycle races from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 4, beginning on River Street in Wilkes-Barre.

The Health and Fitness Festival weekend is designed to show residents there are fun ways to meet the exercise recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For adults, the CDC recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week plus two days a week of muscle strengthening.  Bicycle riding is a family-friendly way to meet those exercise goals.

“Bicycle riding, even on flat ground, along with walking and other activities are possibilities for getting an aerobic workout and for strengthening leg muscles,” said Dr. Nina Taggart, medical director for Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  “And having fun while exercising and including other people in your exercise routine, such as with bicycle riding, makes it easier to stick with your routine.” 

Bicycle riding can help burn 500 calories or more per hour, and patients with diabetes who bike regularly have shown marked improvements in a variety of wellness measures, according to a study reported on

“Having an event in downtown Wilkes-Barre that showcases health and fitness and promotes healthy activities such as bicycle riding is exciting,” said Dr. Taggart.  “We encourage everyone to learn more about staying healthy and to check with their doctor or health care professional before creating a plan to meet the CDC’s recommended activity levels.”

For more information on the Wilkes-Barre Health and Fitness Festival, visit

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association headquartered in Wilkes-Barre.  It offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 600,000 individuals in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania.  The company’s mission is to provide innovative solutions that support more affordable health care, promote personal accountability for health and wellness, and offer superior service and partnership to employers, members, and providers.

Media Contact:
Anthony Matrisciano