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Community health challenge kicks off Monday

Jan. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Lose a ton, Huntington.

That's the message behind the Huntington Health Revolution's new 90-day challenge, which kicks off Monday. The first 90-day challenge, which encourages people to make changes in the areas of diet, exercise and spirit, was issued in May 2010. This year, the 90-day challenge has an added twist.

"We've added a goal this time and that goal is for Huntington to lose 2,000 pounds community-wide," said Heather Sammons, region four coordinator for Change the Future WV, a team focused on creating healthier communities working collaboration with Huntington Health Revolution.

The 90-day challenge, a weekly series of tips to create small changes in the way you eat, exercise and behave, begins Jan. 14 and runs through April 13. Some current tips include adding a serving of non-fried fish during the week, buying a pedometer to reach a goal number of steps each day and being a mentor to someone. The changes alone may seem insignificant, but can add up to big results, according to Sammons.

"The change can be as simple as trying a new fruit or replacing some kind of high-calorie snack with a vegetable. It could be taking a walk around the block with your dog," Sammons said. "Little things can add up to make huge changes in things like high diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure that are big health issues in our community."

In addition to completing the weekly changes, participants are asked to log on to a weight-tracking website set up for the 90-day challenge. That information, which can remain anonymous, will be used to tally weight loss results for the community at-large.

"On Jan. 14, input your starting weight and then each Saturday or one day a week of your choosing, go to the link, answer a few quick questions about your amount of weight lost and we'll keep track of the total," said Sammons, adding that the only required field is the amount of weight lost. "We will announce the total at our Healthy Day in Huntington on April 13."

Sammons said even though the challenge officially begins on Jan. 14, new participants can join at any time.

"This is a chance to really change your life for the better, to make this a healthier place to live and to create a culture of health," Sammons said.

Follow H-D reporter Beth Hendricks on Facebook or Twitter @BethHendricksHD.