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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Oct. 24, 2008

Challenge yourself to keep fit and trim this holiday season

by Paula Van Brocklin

It's getting colder and the holidays are approaching. But that's no excuse to ignore healthy eating habits and regular exercise.

The Wellness Works committee (a group of kinesiology students from the worksite promotions class led by Greg Welk, associate professor of kinesiology; Sally Barclay, clinician in food science and human nutrition; and Jared Tucker, kinesiology graduate assistant) is encouraging all ISU employees to stay active and eat healthy this holiday season through the "Work Your Way to Wellness" challenge, Nov. 3-30. There are two components to the challenge -- nutrition and activity. Employees may participate in one or both. There is no need to preregister, and it's free.

"We hope those who participate use this tool as a boost to not only push themselves through the six-week holiday season, but that they continue to choose behaviors that are conducive to a healthy lifestyle," said Tony Rains, a senior in kinesiology and member of the Wellness Works committee.

How it works

The nutrition challenge, "Healthy Choices," is divided into four one-week phases. Participants try to meet the recommended daily servings of each week's designated food group -- fruits and vegetables, dairy, water intake and whole grains. Employees may complete as many of the four phases as they wish. At the end of each week, challengers will send progress charts to the committee.

The activity portion of the challenge, called "My Start," will be monitored through the American Heart Association's web site. The site has an online tool that allows participants to log the distance or time they exercise each day. It also provides a list of suggested activities, and a virtual map to plot out exercise routes. The committee also will send weekly e-mails offering workout tips.

Added incentives

If staying fit and healthy isn't enough motivation to take on this challenge, the committee is upping the ante with prizes. Details still are being ironed out, but plans are to reward several participants with free, one-month memberships to Ames Racquet and Fitness Center and HyVee gift cards.

More information

Look for more details about "Work Your Way to Wellness" in an Oct. 30 e-mail. Contact the Wellness Works committee at with additional questions or concerns.


The "Work Your Way to Wellness" program challenges employees to stay fit and eat healthy during the holiday season.