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Lighten Up!

Monday, January 9, 2006

BV County kicks off a Wellness Challenge

Buena Vista County is going to be an active participant in Lighten Up Iowa 2006!

Organizers announced this week that they have received a grant from the state to help promote the program and motivate local teams to take the challenge for a healthier lifestyle.

Lighten Up Iowa is a team-based program designed to help Iowans make positive lifestyle changes during the course of the five-month program.

Lighten Up will encourage participants by giving them physical activity ideas and tips on healthy eating and proper nutrition. The Community Wellness Council, consisting of different health professionals throughout Buena Vista County, is the driving force behind the Lighten Up Iowa campaign in Storm Lake.

The program runs from Jan. 18 - May 31, and is designed for adults 18 and older.

Teams can compete in one or both divisions:

1. Weight Loss Division: "Honor" team weight is submitted and reported monthly. Winning teams are those who lose the highest percentage of weight over the five months.

2. Minutes of Activity Division: Teams track activity minutes and report monthly. Winning teams are those who log the most minutes per team member over the five-month program.

How do you get involved? Put together a team of 2-10 people and choose a team name and a captain. Team captains must have an e-mail address. Complete the entry form online at www.lightenupiowa.org

For anyone interested in participating in Lighten Up Iowa, Storm Lake will be having a community breakfast at the AEA building from 7-9 am on Tuesday. The Community Wellness Council members will be on hand to answer any questions or to help compile community teams. Hy-Vee will be providing a healthy breakfast for all! This is a great time for captains to get all the information needed to captain a team, or for any community member to ask questions.

There is a $100 prize for the winning team in each division, and $50 for the second place team.

The program does cost each participant $10. Included in the entry is a Lighten Up Iowa training T-shirt, personal nutrition/physical activity tracking log, free entry into the Iowa Games fitness walk and volkswalk, weekly nutrition and physical activity tips, and monthly incentives and prizes.

If you are interested in being on a team, being a captain of a team, or have any other questions about Lighten Up Iowa, please contact CommUNITY Education at 732 - 5711 and ask for Pat Fisher or Pat Cowan. If you cannot find enough members for a team but would like to be a part of this program, CommUNITY Education can place you on a team.

Watch for health tips in the Pilot Tribune to help you Lighten Up and for progress of the teams participating.

The Buena Vista County Wellness Challenge will include discounts for membership to the BVRMC Fitness & Health Center during months of the program for participants - 15% off quarterly, 20% off 6-month, and 25% off annual memberships. Discounts for personal training sessions are also available.

The center offers 6 treadmills, 4 elliptical trainers, 2 steppers, 2 bikes (stationary and recumbent), 2 Nu Steps, 1 Nordic Track, 1rowing machine, 14 pieces of selectorized resistance machines (NEW), Free weights, 2 racquetball courts, 2 adjustable cable crossovers, Hi/Low lat pull, a golf hitting net, group fitness classes (Step Aerobics, Toning, Kickboxing, Resistance Training, and Senior Aerobics), personal training, racquetball, and youth gymnastics.

Sports Rehab and Professional Therapy Associates also offers discounts to participants, for the months of Jan. 2006 - May 2006. Single membership is $26.25 (25% discount), family membership is $33.75 (25% discount), senior (60+) single membership is $21.00 (25% discount) and senior (60+) family membership is $27.00 (25% discount).

Equipment/Services/Programs include: warm-water pool, hot tub, locker room facilities, 2 treadmills, 1 elliptical trainer, 1 stationary bike, 1 Nu-Step, 1 Hiker, 1 rowing machine, 1 adjustable cable column, free weights, individual exercise programs, and different group fitness classes offered throughout the year.

Curves fitness center for women offers participants a $29.00 per month current special + $104 activation fee.

Equipment/Services/Programs include: cardiovascular training and total body toning all put together into one, quick-paced circuit, with fun, upbeat music.

Buena Vista University fitness center offers access to the Walk/Jog track (all rates apply until May 2006): Adult $50, Senior Citizen for 2 (must live in same household) (60+), $40, Senior Citizen single (60+) $25.00.

The pool is available until May 2006 at $150 for family, $100 for adults, $75 for youth of $2 per daily use.

Hours for walking and jogging are 6 a.m.-1 p.m.x For pool schedule, call 749-2256. The pool offers Olympic-size swimming pool, open for lap swim and aerobics classes.

Or check out the Storm Lake Community Walking Program. It's free! Hours are before and after school while school is in session at Storm Lake Middle School or Storm Lake High School, program runs through Apr. 1.

The Storm Lake Middle School and High School offer long hallways for walking. Enjoy the convenience of a warm, dry walking surface during the winter and spring months!

Finally, organizers note that participants and anyone else who would like to lighten up in 2006 can create their own fitness program at home. Exercise tapes, Pilates tapes, Yoga tapes, free weights, ball exercises, Theraband exercises, stretching and outdoor walking/bicycling/jogging can help you meet your own goals.

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