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Anyone can join Wellness Challenge

Once again Jamestown Hospital is teaming up with the American Heart Association, Dakota Medical Foundation, and Jamestown's Healthy Lifestyle Coalition to offer an eight-week New Year, New You Wellness Challenge. We already have eight businesses and two groups in the Friends and Family Division registered. The cost of the program is $7 per person and includes an awesome T-shirt or Tote created by Orr'ignals. The program starts Monday, and the deadline to register is 1/10/10.

Goals of the program are to raise awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles in improving the health of all people; to assist people in actually making lifestyle changes and to reduce the risk of untoward health outcomes, specifically reducing the risk of heart disease. Start health care reform in your own home by improving your individual health. We can affect health care costs for the future by eating healthy, exercising regularly, remaining tobacco free, and keeping control of our heart risk factors such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and stress. Invest in your health today for a better tomorrow.

To join the Wellness Challenge anyone can put a team together at your place of business or with your neighbors, church group, exercise buddies or family via the New "Friends and Family" division. This division is made up of participants from the general public in teams of two or more participants. Handouts, recording forms and registration forms for both divisions are available online at under "We are Jamestown" click on New Year, New You 2010 or at the Fitness Center at Jamestown Hospital. Visit us at the Fitness Center open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, to sign up and pick up your packet.

Daily points are earned for exercise, healthy eating and weekly challenges. Participants are encouraged to follow the 2008 physical activity recommendations for Americans by achieving at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise weekly. Moderate exercise would be a brisk walk, where as vigorous exercise would be a jog. Participants can exercise anywhere -- at home, at any gym, in an exercise class, etc. By attaining the minimum recommendations you can expect to achieve some of the following health outcomes: improved fitness; lowered risk of early death; lowered risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and type II diabetes; improved cholesterol levels; reduced risk of metabolic syndrome; re-duced risk of colon, breast endometrial and lung cancers; reduced risk of depression and improved cognitive function; and reduced risk of falls in elderly. In addition, exercise aids in the prevention of weight gain and assists in weight loss, particularly when combined with reduced calorie intake.

Because most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, we encourage participants to eat 5 servings per day. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, high in fiber and they may reduce risk of diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer. They make a convenient, natural snack.

Participants will earn points for a variety of weekly challenges. A series of motivational and educational DVDs that correspond with the weekly topics will be available for viewing on CSi cable and Daktel and available at the Alfred Dickey Public Library. DVDs will also be available for purchase through Go Red North Dakota. The weekly topics include: "Planning for Success," "Weight Loss Tips," "Count your calories -- Read your Labels," "Don't Sit on your Butt -Limit TV time," "Water Down Your Weight," "Stress Makes You Fat, Really!," "Know your Risk Factors -- High Blood Pressure" and "Stay the Path -- maintaining healthy life-style habits."

For those of you already signed up, your first week's Challenge is to make a Plan for Success. Your goal is to create what I call a MEGA Reward Lifestyle Change Plan. Just like a business plan you will need an overall Mission (M). Your mission for this program can be to "Become A Better You." Next you need to create an Exact Goal (EG). Your Exact Goal is what you want to change. Write down your goal in a positive statement that is measurable, achievable and specific. For example; "I will lose 5 pounds in 8 weeks."

Now you will need to write an Action Plan with Action Steps (A). Your Action Plan is the general action you will take to achieve your goal. For example, you Action Plan could be "I will eat less and exercise more to lose 5 pounds." The action steps describe the specific steps you will take as laid out in your plan. How will you eat less? How much and when will you exercise? Your specific Action Steps might be: "I will walk 30 minutes five days a week and keep a food diary -- consuming less than 1,800 calories per day."

Finally, by Recording your Activity and Rewarding your Behavior you will be able to monitor your progress and celebrate your success. Sharing your success with your team mates is a great motivator for yourself and for them. Write your Mega Reward Plan today.

Once you are committed to make a change, you must commit the time and resources required to make the change. Habits are hard -- but not impossible -- to change. We often give up what we want most for what we want in the moment. Keep your goal at the forefront of you mind. Good luck!

For more information, stop by the open house at the Jamestown Hospital Fitness Center on Sunday, Jan. 10, from 1 to 3 p.m. or contact us at the Jamestown Hospital Fitness Center: 952-4891 or via e-mail at NYNY@ or access the registration forms and handouts on our Web site at www. james townhospital. com.