Special to the Tribune-Star
Beginning in 2014 many made New Year’s resolutions. Ten area educators took a challenge that is having them shed weight, get fit and raise money for two great organizations.
The first Fitness Challenge for Education started Jan. 2 at Fitness Solutions Inc., 1101 Walnut St. The event is sponsored by WTWO, Vigo County Education Foundation, Don’s Service Center, Terre Haute Children’s Museum, and Fitness Solutions. The program is similar to The Biggest Loser in that teams get in shape and lose weight sensibly. What makes it unique is they are also raising money that will be split between the Education Foundation and Children’s Museum.
The five Vigo County middle schools have two representatives each. Their names, stats and pictures can be viewed at mywabashvalley.com by clicking on contests, and at terrehautechildrensmuseum.com. The public can click a drop down box and sponsor a favorite team.
Prior to starting the challenge all participants submitted to a health risk assessment at Fitness Solutions. We reviewed current health history, measured blood pressure, height, weight, body composition, muscular strength and endurance, and step test. At the conclusion of the 10-week program all will be reassessed to determine progress. In the meantime, all teams are training, while supervised, at least three days each week.
Teams can attend classes through the week and on Saturday. Four instructors vary the workouts designed around body weight activities, kettle bells, Olympic lifting, and various other routines. Each instructor adds their own specialty to make things more interesting and fun. Workouts are challenging. However, instructors are trained to adapt the exercises to each participant regardless of ability. All teams have shown significant improvements in strength and conditioning.
On the nutritional/dietary side of the program we encourage participants to attend a Weight Watchers program. Why reinvent the wheel when research has shown there is no weight loss program that can match Weight Watchers’ long-term success? Some offer quicker results, but do not teach you “how” to eat correctly. It’s a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
Another benefit of the Fitness Challenge is the educators are able to share their exercise experience and lifestyle transition with their students. Since the state of the nation’s overall health is not a pretty picture, teachers are helping to educate students on the advantages of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Whether or not you resolved to make 2014 a healthy year, Terre Haute has plenty of activities to get you moving while staying fit and healthy.
Chris Davies owns Fitness Solutions Inc. at 1101 Walnut St. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at thfitnesssolutions.com.