In February, employees at the Avera Heart Hospital started a friendly competition. Two teams are going head to head to see who could lose the most weight and inches in 3 months. They call it Points for a Purpose and employees are stacking up the points as the pounds fall off.
Wednesday isn't just the half-way point of the work week at the Avera Heart Hospital. It's now commonly referred to as weigh-in Wednesday. Sheri Swenson works in the business office and is one of the many employees to join the 12 week wellness program. They just reached the half way point.
Sheri says, "I wanted to get involved because I know I needed to make better changes and become healthier and gear up to start exercising."
The Heart Hospital's Registered Dietitians are leading the charge. They've divided participants into 2 groups. They keep track of how much weight employees lose each week. They get 2 points per pound and 15 points at the end of the 3 months if they dropped inches, especially around the middle.
Registered Dietitian Nikki Ver Steeg says, "We really wanted to focus on inches. With weight people can get frustrated, but inches really show results. We are targeting belly fat because we know belly fat is a risk factor related to heart disease."
Nikki says a common mistake people make when they are just starting out to exercise is to replenish their fluids with a sports drink. All you are doing is drinking the calories you just burned off. If you aren't working out extremely hard in extreme conditions you don't need the sports drink. Stick to water instead.
Nikki says, "We prefer people exercise everyday finding something they enjoy doing and we know it helps some people to stay motivated if they have a work-out buddy. During their breaks at work it helps to get up off the chair and walk for 10 minutes. "
Nikki also says we need to be more conscious of what we're eating choosing more fruits and vegetables, less carbs.
Nikki says, "Don't leave 4 to 5 hours between meals. When we leave too much time we make inappropriate decisions because we are too hungry. We don't want you to be hungry. We want you to be full and satisfied so you can make wise decisions."
Sheri says, "I've discovered I need to eat more protein to help cut down on my carb cravings and to eat little meals more often. I've cut down on my salt and my diet sodas tremendously."
Little changes lead to big results. That's what Sheri and her co-workers are hoping for as they compete to beat the battle of the bulge.
So far at the half way point the 2 teams combined have lost a total of 250 pounds and 120 inches. They have 6 more weeks to go. Congratulations to all of you!!