Lose Weight, Get Healthy With Scioto Slimdown 2009

Scioto Slimdown 2009, a six-week long event designed to help community members get in shape and improve their health, will kick off April 8.

The focus of the event, sponsored by Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), the SOMC LIFE Center and the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, is to increase awareness of health and wellness in the community.

“Our goal is to instill the importance of fitness and nutrition to community members,” said Lisa Carver, administrator of the chamber of commerce. “We want to demonstrate proper nutrition improves health. We want to get everyone in the mind to improve their health.”

“It’s a great partnership to get health and wellness information out to the community,” said Regina Tipton, wellness specialist, who is working with the chamber to organize the Slimdown. “We have obesity, diabetes, heart disease here and just losing five or 10 pounds can greatly impact a person’s health and improve the quality of life. We want to make our community healthy.”

Anyone can organize a team of three to five people and participate in the Scioto Slimdown. Each team must have a designated captain and a name. The entry fee is $5 per person and includes a t-shirt. Registration forms must be turned in to the SOMC LIFE Center, 1208 18th St., by March 25. The forms also may be faxed to (740) 356-6102 by that date.

Carver said she got the idea for the Slimdown after visiting SOMC.

“While I was waiting to have some blood work done, I picked up a copy of the Weekly Beat (SOMC’s employee newsletter) and saw the article about the SOMC Meltdown (the employee weight-loss challenge),” she said. “I thought that was pretty cool and I wanted to do something like that with the chamber.”

Carver’s next step was to contact hospital personnel to see if they would help her manage an event. She eventually ended up talking to Gary Coovert, LIFE Center director.

It was Coovert’s idea to go countywide with the Slimdown, she said. He also put Carver in touch with Tipton, who agreed take care of registration, weigh-ins and do a weekly tip sheet about nutrition and exercise for the dieters.

“It’s great we can take a program that we modeled for our employees and use it for the community,” Tipton said. “This (the Scioto Slimdown) will give people the means to start a lifelong relationship with exercise and nutrition.”

As an added benefit of the program, participants in Scioto Slimdown will be able to purchase a membership at the LIFE Center for the duration of the competition for $40.

“That’s quite a savings and we hope people will take advantage of it,” Carver said.

“People should take advantage of it,” Tipton added. “If their goal is to lose weight, use this to get jump started.”

Initial weigh-ins will take place April 1–7 at the LIFE Center. All team members must be present at the initial weigh-in and the registration fee is due at that time. The teams with the greatest total weight loss and the highest percentage weight loss will receive prizes. The Slimdown ends on May 20.

More information is available from Tipton at (740) 356-7510.