The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 16, 2012

BIELEMA: Summer challenge provides benefits

CLINTON — Last Saturday, I used this space to write about the Blue Zones program and how it can be used to make Clinton a healthier, happier place for its residents and workers.

As part of that program, 15 teams representing businesses and organizations have signed up to take the Blue Zones Summer Challenge in which team members will track their weekly activities in minutes, combine them and figure the average for their team members.

Teams are from Archer Daniels Midland. Ashford University, Cadogan, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, city of Clinton, Clinton School District, Genesis VNA, HyVee, Medical Associates, Mercy Auxiliary, Mercy Medical Center, the YWCA and the Clinton Herald.

There are several goals here.

For some it will be to have the highest average as a team; maybe it’s to have the greatest cumulative minutes. Others may want to make sure that they hit a personal target for length of activity each week, and some may want to work to surpass it from one week to the next.

In the end, those participating hopefully will develop habits leading to getting more active, maybe lose a little weight, improve mobility or just feel better knowing they are doing something good for themselves.

If you still want to get a team together, there is  time to register since the deadline is June 22. To do so, round up a few friends and fill out the accompanying form.

You also will be able to track what is going on by checking out the Clinton Herald each week to see how each team is doing.

Also provided with the results will be a tip for healthier living that we encourage you to put in place. It’s all about taking little steps to attain a healthier lifestyle.

We also encourage you to sign up and pledge your support for Clinton at www.bluezonesproject.com.

Pledging support helps Clinton as it seeks to be selected as a Blue Zones community in the future.

In the meantime, I urge you to get to know more about Blue Zones and what it can do for you through its guidelines: getting more active, getting the right outlook by knowing your purpose, shedding stress, eating wisely, slanting your diet toward plant-based foods, having one to two glasses of red wine a day, belonging to a faith-based community, putting loved ones first, creating your own group of friends who support healthy behaviors and keeping those people close to you throughout your entire life.

And get ready for the challenge. It will be from July 9 - Sept. 7 with results accumulated on Fridays and posted here on Tuesdays.

They also will be posted on the Clinton Blue Zones Project Facebook page and on Clinton’s Blue Zones website.

Please join us!

Charlene Bielema is the Editor of the Clinton Herald.

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