Area Health Olympics gets underway
The 2007 Health Olympics got underway on Sunday, April 1. The free two-month program is designed to help increase health and fitness and runs through May 31.
Health Olympics participants will choose a weight loss goal of up to 10 pounds. They will commit to fitness goals of exercising at least 30 minutes daily, cutting 200 calories from their diet and avoiding their worst health habit. Participants will keep track of their daily progress in meeting these goals over the months of April and May.
Area residents can still sign up for the Health Olympics through Friday, April 6. Sign-up locations are War Memorial Hospital, Tri-State Community Health Center, Rankin Fitness Center, Curves in Berkeley Springs and Curves in
Hancock. Participants in the Health Olympics will weigh out at their registration location between Monday, May 21 and Friday, June 8.
There is no cost to participate in the program. All participants will get a free Health Olympics t-shirt and can receive membership discounts at local fitness facilities.
The 1.5-mile Walk Across Maryland and the Tri-State Community Health Center's Health Fair on Friday, March 31 were the kick-off events for the Health Olympics. Health Olympics organizer Dr. Matt Hahn said that some 75 people participated in the Walk Across Maryland, which began at the Maryland and Pennsylvania state line and went down Pennsylvania Avenue in Hancock.
Hahn also gave his lecture "The Secret to Affordable Health Care for All" at three area locations as part of the Health Olympics kick-off.
Walk with the Doctor
Hahn begins his eight-week Walk
with the Doctor series this week on Thursday, April 5 at the Widmyer
Elementary track with guest Morgan County Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson. The walks will alternate between
the Widmyer track in Berkeley Springs and the Rail Trail in Hancock and
will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday evenings.
Meet at the Hancock station of the Rail Trail for the April 12 Walk with the Doctor with the Clear-the-Air anti-smoking group. The April 19 walk with Hahn at the Widmyer track will have John Douglas, editor of The Morgan Messenger and The Hancock News, as a guest.
Daily exercise for the 2007 Health Olympics can consist of activities such as walking, hiking, jogging, running, biking, aerobics, yoga, tai chi, lifting weights, shooting hoops, swimming, or dancing. Participants can also use exercise machines or exercise tapes or videos or take fitness classes to meet their goals.
"Do something you like. Just do it," emphasized Hahn.
Cut those calories
Hahn suggested ways to cut 200 calories a day in your diet. Substituting water for iced tea or fruit juice would eliminate around 260 calories. Trading a regular 20-ounce soda for water or diet soda would cut around 250 calories, noted Hahn.
Other ways to cut out more calories include eliminating two slices of bread or one donut (200 calories), cutting one beer a day (150 calories), not eating one candy bar (200-250 calories) or one-half cup of ice cream (around 250 calories) or eliminating one small bag of potato chips. (150-200 calories)
Hahn also advocated using smaller plates, avoiding eating while watching TV or while reading and keeping a log of the food you eat.
Improving your health
"Everybody can improve their health and improve the health of the nation by eating a little bit better and exercising a little every day," said Hahn.