Wednesday, July 11th, 2007
By Shelley Grieshop
Ready, set - lose 2,500 pounds
  Mercer Health has teamed up with a local agricultural agency to help area residents get fit by offering a free, year-long wellness program.
Moooving to Lose is the theme that officials hope will get individuals and families off the couch and into a healthier lifestyle.
"Our goal is to have participants reach a total weight loss of 2,500 pounds in the next year," said Mercer Health Marketing and Communications Director Ken Obringer.
Organizers also hope to draw at least 1,000 people into the program, which includes activities through the summer of 2008, he added. The educational and activity sessions will take place on Saturdays (except one) at the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina.
The first Moooving to Lose event is 8-11 a.m. Saturday.
Mercer Health's wellness services department launched the idea and attempted to pursue a federal $5,000 grant to help with expenses. But to obtain the grant, they needed to partner with a nonprofit 5013C licensed organization. The Mercer County Agricultural Society (fair board) was ready and willing, Obringer said.
"And that's how we arrived at the cows," the graphic image of dancing bovines used as the program's theme, he added.
Unfortunately, the grant application was denied but officials decided to proceed with the idea anyway. After soliciting help from local businesses, more than a dozen sponsors jumped on board to help defray costs, Obringer said.
Experts have said for years that weight loss and exercise are the secret to an overall healthier body and quality of life, despite the trend of obesity in the United States. The latest results from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) indicate that an estimated 66 percent of adults and 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are either overweight or obese.
Studies from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say behaviors and genetics are the main contributing factors for the overweight and obesity problem. What people eat and their level of activity, personal characteristics, environment and even financial situations all play a part. Heredity plays an even larger role because genes can influence how the body burns calories for energy and stores fat, the CDC states.
In most situations, however, people can do something to combat the problem, experts say. Exercising and implementing a healthier diet can help reduce or prevent diseases like Type 2 diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea and some cancers.
Obringer said participants in Moooving to Lose will be asked to perform 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days such as walking or riding a bike. Perks for joining include a free T-shirt, educational information, an optional log sheet and other incentives throughout the coming year.
Participants can sign up for the program during any of the 11 optional sessions at the fairgrounds where confidential weight checks, health screenings, exercise activities and special presentations will be available.
A community assessment study performed in Mercer County last year indicated the local area was in need of a wellness program, Obringer noted. Armed with that information, Mercer Health staff is hoping the Moooving to Lose program is the motivation the public can use to get healthier and stay that way.
"Mercer Health is committed to this program and keeping the people in our communities healthy for life," he added.

Learning how to do it:
Moooving & Wellness days include confidential health screenings (weight check, body fat analysis, body mass index and blood pressure) and exercise sessions.
Moooving & Learning days offer confidential weight checks and educational and exercise sessions.
All activities will be held at the Mercer County Fairgrounds in Celina. Participants can attend any or all of the activities for as long as they wish to stay during the times indicated.
• Saturday, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Wellness. Sessions: proper stretching and footwear at 8:30, 9:15 and 10 a.m.
• Aug. 9, 8:30-10:30 a.m. (during fair) - Moooving & Wellness. Session: senior exercise, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
• Aug. 11, 7:30-9:30 a.m. (during fair) - Moooving & Wellness.
• Sept. 15, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Learning. Session: frequency, intensity and time.
• Oct. 13, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Learning. Session: portion distortion and mini-massages.
• Nov. 10, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Wellness. Session: diabetes basics, 8:30 and 9:30 a.m.
• Jan. 12, 2008, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Learning. Session: know your numbers.
• Feb. 9, 2008, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Wellness. Session: pilates, 8:30 a.m.; muscle madness, 9 a.m.; yoga, 9:30 a.m.
• March 8, 2008, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Learning. Session: healthy choices.
• April 12, 2008, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Learning. Session: heart health.
• June 14, 2008, 8-11 a.m. - Moooving & Wellness. Session: floor routines, abdominal workouts and cool down at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.
- Shelley Grieshop
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