SHELDON—While Live Healthy Northwest Iowa is a friendly weight-loss and activity minutes competition among groups in the area, the main goal is to develop healthy workout and eating habits for the rest of participants’ life.
But when teams from N’West Iowa start showing up in top spots in the statewide competitions, it is something to celebrate.
“Usually, I am pushing our Live Healthy Northwest Iowa because of the great local prizes and great local competition. It’s a better way to get involved and be more localized,” said Northwest Iowa Lifelong Living and Recreation Center director Greta Giese and coordinator of Live Healthy Northwest Iowa. “We really have had our teams do an excellent job of being part of the statewide competition.”
There are teams from Live Healthy Northwest Iowa that rank toward the top of the statewide competition.
The weight-loss competition is calculated by the percentage of average weight lost among the whole team, which consists of 2-10 people.
Live Healthy Northwest Iowa has nine teams ranked in the top 60 in the statewide competition, which as 480 groups participating.
“It goes to show, these results, these goals that we are setting and achieving, they are very realistic and very doable,” Giese said. “A little support, accountability, having a goal to work toward and dedication is what the teams have and need to perform at this level.”
The competition started Jan. 10 and goes for 10 weeks until March 18.
As of the morning of Feb. 28, Live Healthy Northwest Iowa had the top team in the state in the weight-loss competition as “Get Out of the Weigh” has an average weight-loss percentage of 9.71 percent.
“Move On” is fourth in the state at 7.24 percent, “Bold and Beautiful” follows in fifth place at 6.35 percent and “Work Out Wonders” is sixth at 5.94 percent. “Carley” enters the top 10 at ninth at 5.18 percent. “A Subscription for Loss” is 12th at 4.43 percent with “Hungry Wolves” 20th at 3.78 percent. “Let’s Lose It!” is 34th at 3.16 percent and “Mommin Ain’t Easy” rounds out N’West Iowa’s top-60 teams statewide at 54th at 2.54 percent.
Giese said out of all of the teams she has talked to, none of them have been doing it to get statewide recognition.
“They are doing it because they know it helps them in their activities in daily living, helps their quality of life, helps with their years of life and they enjoy making sure exercise and healthy eating habits are part of their daily and weekly routine,” she said. “That’s the long term, lifelong goal. We hope the 10 weeks kick starts the healthy habits that shouldn’t end after 10 weeks.”
The statewide activity minutes has 540 teams, and three N’West Iowa teams are in the top 80 teams. The total is calculated by the average activity minutes of every team member.
“Walkie Talkies” is 15th in the state with 4,872 minutes. The team consists of Jena Schouten, Beth Sibenaller-Woodall and Sheila Drenkow. The three are co-workers at Northwest Iowa Community College.
The three will take a walk during their lunch hour, and they will set their goals of what activity they will do that night or what the next day.
“The nicer the day, the bigger the goal because we know others in the state will be capitalizing,” Schouten said. “Beth will play basketball or softball with her kids, or I will play basketball with students at the LLRC or walk down the trail again. Sometimes the goal is to add 20 minutes extra to our routine that we normally have planned.
“I would give a lot of credit to our team captain Beth. She pushes us to go the extra mile and has a new challenge for us.”
The three are having fun with their lunch routine. Each day, if the weather allows, they try to walk down a different street in Sheldon with the goal to make their way down every road in town.
There are a few teams from NCC participating in Live Healthy Northwest Iowa, which Schouten said keeps the “Walkie Talkies” accountable.
“They will make a snarky comment but that will get us going even more,” Schouten said.
But the competition is not what is driving three co-workers.
“We are just in it to have fun and to build comradery with one another,” Schouten said. “We are having more fun than you can imagine. We look forward to our walks every day because we know it’s a break from the desk and we will be laughing a lot.”
“Work Out Wonders” is in the top 25 of both competitions as the group is 23rd in workout minutes with 4,259 and “Bold and Beautiful” is 76th in the state with 2,728 minutes.