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» » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » cruisin’ into a healthy summer Anchors “a-weigh”! We’re

— and we are not talking about salads, grapefruit and tilapia. Enter the 2015 AAC Get Fit Challenge for county employees


• • • • • • • • • • • •

and elected officials. The Get Fit Challenge is a way to band together with the people we work with every day for support and encouragement to reach our health and fitness goals. We talk a lot about losing weight, exercising and generally getting fit. The fact is, it is no easy task. Having a partner or a group for support is key to getting started and sticking with it. We kicked off the Get Fit Challenge on March 2 with

t was a long, cold winter. Most people find that winter weather makes it difficult to stick with an exercise routine. Meanwhile, since we are cooped up in our homes, it is so easy to find comfort and solace in food

Savings times 2

Wallet & waistline

our initial weigh in and waist measuring. We have 15 teams and 128 participants. This group includes a variety of ages, sizes and fitness goals. However, the one thing they have in common is they all want to feel better and cruise into summer healthier than they were when they started in March. The first month brought a good start with the group collectively losing 237 pounds and 81 inches in the waist. Way to go! This year’s challenge includes some extras that will hopefully lead to creating some healthy habits as well as earn the teams some bonus pounds lost. In March our focus was on increasing our water intake. Drinking water is incredibly important to weight loss and overall health. Did you know that drinking water:

Helps convert food into energy Removes wastes and toxins

Helps your body absorb nutrients Moistens oxygen for breathing Cushions your joints

Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells Improves your productivity at work Is a natural remedy for a headache

Relieves fatigue and improves your mood Reduces the risk of cancer

Improves your performance during exercise Makes you look younger and healthier

a person should drink a day from the long held standard 64 ounces to half your body weight in ounces of water. That seems like a great deal of water to most folks. However, when considering the benefits listed above, it is worth it. April brings the focus of the “Get Fitters” to increasing fruit and vegetable intake. The American Heart Association and probably every doctor in the world recommends a diet rich in fruits and

Many health experts have increased the amount of water

vegetables. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, “Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.” The CDC recommends that a person who needs 2,000 calories per day should eat two cups of fruit 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. That does not sound too bad, but studies show that only 33 percent of adults are eating the recommended daily amount of fruit, and even fewer — 27 percent — are meeting their vegetable quota. The month of May will see our Get Fit participants get moving. The challenge is to walk and/or jog 20 miles in a month. If you are looking at a diet program that says you do not have to exercise at all, I would keep looking. Increasing your physical activity is not just important for weight loss, it is important to so many areas of your general health. The American Heart Association recently recommended for those with heart disease to “get an average of 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week.” Walking is a good way to relieve stress, get some much-needed vitamin D from the sun and enjoy God’s creations. In June, the Get Fitters will wrap up this challenge with incorporating all three of these healthy habits into their lifestyle – drinking water, eating fruits and vegetables, and staying active with things like walking. The Get Fit Challenge will see its final weigh in and measuring on June 26. Winning teams will be determined by the highest combined percentage of weight and waist inches lost. Diving into a new way of eating, increasing activity and

Becky Comet AAC Member Benefits Manager

trying to take control of your health can be a very difficult task, at best. Old habits die hard. That place we have on the couch seems to call our name when we do not visit it regularly. Then there are those of us that are so busy taking care of everyone else that there is no time or energy left to take care of ourselves. We think it is selfish to set aside time to take care of our own health. It is time to change that mindset. You will be a better spouse, parent, employee and person if you do. In the words of Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” COUNTY LINES, SPRING 2015 15

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