Community Teams up for Get Fit Lubbock
When Carlota Reigner signed up for Get Fit Lubbock in September 2007 with her team, the Butterballs, she had more than winning on her mind. She was ready to take control of her health.
Reigner has battled high blood pressure, and many of her family members suffer from diabetes. "With the extra weight, I was sure I was headed there too," she said. Now 44 pounds lighter and her blood pressure under control, she continues to exercise every day.
Healthy Lubbock, a community-wide initiative of the Garrison Institute on Aging, launched the 12-week Get Fit Lubbock competition September 15 to help people in the community meet their health, fitness and weight loss goals. The competition included exercise and weight loss activities, encouragement and support from health and fitness professionals and free Get Fit lectures. About 145 teams of six to10 people competed. These 1,200 participants logged a total of 42,644 hours of exercise along with 5,694 pounds of weight loss.
"We are thrilled that the community’s response was so positive, and we are especially excited to see so many successful outcomes," said Paula Grammas, executive director of the Garrison Institute on Aging, noting that becoming fit will improve cardiovascular function as well as help keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
Reigner was the overall female winner in points earned. "I enjoyed the competition because I wasn’t focusing on weight loss; I was focusing on the points. I’m a team player and this really forged a strong bond for our team," she said.
Overall male winner Chris Gallarneau said the competition helped him surpass a plateau in his fitness and weight loss efforts and ultimately drop from 227 to 170 pounds.
"This program gave me the desire to increase my exercise efforts, monitor my diet more closely, encourage and challenge my team mates, and become involved in community health and fitness events," he said, adding that he plans to continue working toward his personal fitness goals.
Get Fit Lubbock will launch again in September 2008. "Changing people’s health behavior is a complex endeavor which takes time, commitment and incremental steps. The initiative is working to develop small changes which, over time, will add to big improvements in the health of Lubbock’s citizens," Grammas said. "This program is an excellent step in the right direction."