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Weigh-ins begin for 2014 health challenge PDF E-mail

Thirty-five teams stepped on the scales Monday weighing in for this year’s Hamilton County Health Challenge. The final day to enter is Thursday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the MCHI Physical Therapy Clinic at 5th and O streets.

The winning two-person team will receive $500 during an A’ROR’N Days finale, with $300 going for second and $200 for third. A $100 prize will also be awarded to the team with the most creative name.

Some prizes will be awarded immediately after sign-ups, including three-month memberships to Aurora Fitness Center, Aurora Curves and Aurora Jazzercise, as well as one Aqua Zumba a punch card from Curves.

As team’s begin this year’s competition, a local health/nutrition expert is offering tips for participants to help reach their goals and start living a healthier lifestyle.

Mikaela Lewis, health coordinator at Memorial Community Health Inc., said setting attainable goals is a key step in the process.

“Many of us set goals for ourselves to get fit, lose weight, or tone up, but it is often difficult to follow through with our plans to meet these goals,” she said. “In order to reach our goals, it is important to set goals that are realistic.”

Lewis offered some tips for participants to consider based on the SMART plan:

S: Specific -- Instead of saying “I want to lose weight,” say I will walk three days a week.

M: Measurable -- This provides evidence for you to know if you reached your goal.

A: Attainable -- Set a goal that is challenging, but still achievable.

R: Realistic -- Are you willing to commit to this goal? Can this goal actually be accomplished?

T: Time-bound -- Set a timeframe for your goal. One example would be committing to exercise 30 minutes a day, five days a week within six weeks.

Other tips for success include:

• Writing down your goals. Setting both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals are the baby steps to reach your long-term goals at the end of the competition.

• Make a plan. How are you realistically going to meet your goals? Think it through. Will it really work?

• Hold yourself accountable. Tell your family and friends so they can provide encouragement and support.

• Focus on one goal at a time. Don’t try to work on several goals at once. It can set you up for failure.

• When setting goals for weight loss, slow and steady is better. Set a goal to lose a maximum of 1-2 pounds per week. Any more than that can cause other health problems.

• Visualize yourself reaching your goals.

• Reward yourself when you reach a goal.

• Make changes you can live with.

• Don’t’ deprive yourself. This is an easy way to become discouraged and give up.

• Determination and perseverance are key. Remember the reason you set your goals.

Sponsors for this year’s challenge, which is coordinated by Memorial Community Health and the Aurora News-Register, include Cornerstone Bank, the Aurora Mall, Curves, Jazzercise, the Aurora Fitness Center, Jim’s U-Save Pharmacy and Subway.

To read more, see this week's print or e-editions

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