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Annual Lifestyle Challenge starts in January

By Staff | Dec 23, 2016

A new year is approaching and Avera Holy Family Hospital and the Regional Wellness Center are once again bringing area residents the Lifestyle Challenge. The purpose of the challenge is to help participants improve their health and wellness through weight loss, exercise and good nutrition.

For the last four years Avera and the RWC have teamed up to offer participants more from the challenge. Before, both entities had their own challenges.

There are two aspects to the challenge. The first is the fitness aspect and recording exercise minutes. The second is weight loss, which is done based on percentage rather than pounds.

Participants have access to weekly weigh-ins, instructor led classes, a dietician and healthy recipes. There is also “workout of the week” which provide different challenges throughout the weeks in order to get people to try different exercises.

New this year is an app that track a team’s steps as they walk down the Great River Road following the Mississippi River from the headwaters in Minnesota to its end in New Orleans.

RWC director Bob Grems explained that this is a team challenge.

“We will track both weight loss and steps we will record and post weight loss percent, not individual weights along with exercise steps,” he said. “Steps will be averaged by team.”

In the past, the Lifestyle Challenge requirements were to record activity outside of a person’s workplace.

This app, which syncs with devices like Fitbit and Garmin, will track steps throughout the day.

So if participants park their vehicle a little further from their office or take a break where they take a walk, that activity will be recorded.

“:We want to encourage more activity all throughout the day,” said Grems.

Another change this year is that the challenge will take place for just nine weeks with the Great River Road Race taking part during six weeks in the middle of the challenge.

“We may add a supplemental challenge after those nine weeks,” Grems said.

Members of the Lifestyle Challenge will also have access to health and wellness information, food journaling ideas and follow-up activities once the challenge is completed. Team and individual give-aways, prizes and contests will go throughout the competition.

Whether participants are looking to lose weight or just wanting to get back into exercising, all are encouraged to join.

Individuals are also encouraged to join the Challenge as well and they can be placed on a team with other individuals. Teams can consist of anywhere from 2-6 persons.

You do not need to be an RWC member to participate, however RWC members will have the advantage of matching the RWC amenities and their weight loss and exercise goals.

The initial weigh-in is Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 at the RWC. Participants can register and weigh-in any time from 6:30-9 a.m., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3:30-5:30 p.m.. There will be a total of nine weigh-ins and the challenge will go from Jan. 8 to March 3. Cost to join the Lifestyle Challenge is $40. Theer is an employee group discount of $30 per individual if entry fee is paid by an employer check.

For information, contact Jen Hough at Avera or Bob Grems at the RWC.