Scale Back Alabama

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 16, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; After committing to lose weight in this year&8217;s Scale Back Alabama program, participants held their first educational sessions this week at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

Betsy Adams, director for the Wellness Center at BWWMH, said there are 70 teams of four signed up for the 10-week program. Employee teams make up about 24 of the teams and the remaining 46 are public teams.

Furthermore, Adams reports the majority of the employee teams are made up of individuals who participated in the program last year.

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The topic for this week&8217;s session was setting goals &8212; dietary, physical and behavioral.

One example would be to &8220;eat two green vegetables five days a week&8221; instead of saying &8220;eat more vegetables.&8221;

Another component of the session dealt with tips on how to get the most out of walking for exercise. Adams said within 5 to 10 minutes of walking, when done properly with good posture and proper breathing, a person should feel warmth in the body, signifying a rise in heart rate.

Last but not least, teams were awarded based on the creativity of their team names. Adams said one of the components of the program is to infuse some fun and other activities to keep people encouraged.

In this year&8217;s Scale Back Alabama program, teams will compete to lose at least 10 pounds per person, which Adams said is a reasonable weight loss goal given the time period. Those who achieve that goal will be entered into the grand prize drawing for $1,000 per person on each team.

Participants who reach the 10-pound goal can also enter their names to win one of many $250 individual prizes in the competition.

Last year 20,000 participants in the program in 47 counties all over the state lost 78,000 pounds.