FOR three years now Great Lakes residents have been supporting one another to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle through the Biggest Winner Ultimate Thinner challenge.
But what about the region’s population of pooches?
Overweight dogs will this year be included in a special category of the community weight-loss challenge, being conducted by Fitness2428.
The ‘Fit Fido’ division gives more residents a good reason to get involved in the challenge to benefit not only your health but to also support a local charity, with $1 to be donated to the oncology unit of Forster Private Hospital for every kilo lost.
The Biggest Winner Ultimate Thinner challenge sees groups of four people – whether they be friends, family, workmates or any other group – working together to get in shape for summer, sharing camaraderie and vying for prizemoney, with over $15,000 in cash and prizes handed out last year.
The winner will be based on the highest percentage of weight lost over a 12-week period.
It’s the third year of the challenge and it’s set to be an exciting one, with two new ventures this year.
As well as the healthy hounds category, the challenge will also extend into the Taree area for the first time this year. As in previous years, it will also run in Bulahdelah.
Kerryann Hayes of Fitness2428 said interest in the challenge is building as the first touches of spring weather are felt in the air and the hours of daylight start to lengthen prompting people to start thinking about summer fitness.
The challenge is for men and women, youths and adults and Kerryann hopes to top 100 teams this year after having 88 registered last year and 44 in its debut year.
The healthy hounds category is an initiative that has drawn plenty of praise and is set to draw new participants.
You don’t need to be part of a team for this category, just sign up with your dog and lose the weight together.
Kerryann said the idea came about because she owns two dogs and many of her clients are dog lovers, so when she heard the statistics that 40 per cent of dogs are overweight, it seemed a natural addition to the challenge.
She thanked the Forster Veterinary hospital and Cape Hawke Veterinary Hospital for coming on board and weekly weigh-ins can be made at these two practices.
Kerryann said one of the biggest difficulties regarding the challenge is getting the word out to all parts of the community, particularly to the people who may need motivation and support the most.
To this end, she is calling on everyone in the community to talk about the challenge and encourage others to get involved.
You don’t need to be a member of any gym to take part as an exercise program has been developed that you can complete at home.
As part of the challenge this year, local doctors and dieticians will be looking for 40 people with chronic health risk factors to take part in a health study.
The levels of health will be measured at the start and end of the period and the results could help improve the health of our region.
The challenge will begin with an initial weigh-in on Friday August 31 at Forster and Taree and Wednesday September 5 at Bulahdelah, ending with a final weigh-in on Friday November 23 at Forster and Taree or November 28 at Bulahdelah.
Each person will also weigh-in each Friday (Forster/Taree) or Wednesday (Bulahdelah) during the challenge period.
For more information visit www.fitness2428.com.au, phone 6555 8818 or email firstname.lastname@example.org