E-Town Get Fit Wraps Up Successful Challenge
By Chelsea Peifer
Elizabethtown resident Kristen Scharf decided to try the 2017 E-town Get Fit Choose to Lose challenge when her friend Simone Heisey was looking for someone to sign up with her. “I really did not know what I was getting into, so I was uncertain what to expect,” recalled Scharf.
E-Town Get Fit is a three-month challenge sponsored by the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce and several area businesses and organizations. From Jan. 14 to April 8, Scharf and 76 others participated in the program, which is designed to teach individuals how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Participants, who joined the challenge for a set fee, could sign up as a team of up to five or as individuals to be placed on a team for moral support and accountability. They received free group exercise classes and a discounted gym membership, along with weekly fitness and nutrition challenges and information. “Group exercise class is always a high point,” said Mark Mueller, E-Town Get Fit developer and director. “This class meets every Saturday during the program, and we always have regular attendees who look forward to it.”
According to Mueller, the class includes body weight and resistance exercises using dumbbells and barbells to increase strength and aerobic exercises in order to help increase endurance. “These workouts also help to improve movement and flexibility,” explained Mueller. “It is fun to watch the participants’ improvement as the weeks go by. At the end of 12 weeks, some of them are able to do things they thought they would never be able to do again. Some people are amazed at how aches and pains they have lived with for years have disappeared.”
After a final weigh-on on April 8, Mueller compiled the total weight loss and body fat loss data to determine the winning team, as well as the individual female and male winners. First-place team honors went to “Adjust Weight and See,” consisting of John Rebman, Cheryl Rebman, Natalie Rebman, Rich Miller, and Kelly Monaghan. Team members lost a combined total of 93 pounds and had 1.76 percent total fat loss.
E-Town Get Fit developer and director Mark Mueller (far left) congratulates first-place team “Adjust Weight and See” members (continuing from left) Cheryl Rebman, John Rebman, Kelly Monaghan, Natalie Rebman, and Rich Miller. Miller was also the overall first-place male competitor.
Miller was the top male competitor, and Scharf was the top female competitor.
“My biggest challenge was to realize my abilities were not as limited as I thought I was,” said Scharf. “Mark offered Saturday classes and not only did we exercise, but he put me in the mindset to keep trying all week. On Saturdays, he also gave us our weekly challenges, one for dietary need and one for exercise needs. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it, so I worked at his challenges.”
Scharf was pleasantly surprised by how friendly everyone in the program was, even though they were technically competing against one another. “Everyone was trying to encourage others to keep going or saying a kind word of encouragement even if they did not know them,” Scharf shared.
Mount Joy resident John Rebman, who joined the challenge when his daughter was looking for more team members, echoed Scharf’s sentiments. “All the teams and people were supportive of each other,” said John. “Mark runs a great program and couldn’t have been more helpful.”
“Once you change and keep going, it is amazing how much better you feel,” John remarked. “It takes discipline to exercise and eat correctly.”
“Even though the program ended, I still think about what I choose to eat and what activity I have planned for the day,” said Scharf, adding that it has become a routine she is excited to achieve each day. “I would more than encourage people to sign up next year. It was a great experience, even on those days I felt like walking was too painful!”
The 2018 E-Town Get Fit Choose to Lose Challenge will begin in January. More information is available at http://www.e-towngetfit.com.
At the beginning of the new year, many individuals make resolutions – to quit smoking, eat healthier, or accomplish any number of other plans. One of the most popular resolutions, by far, is the decision to get healthy and lose weight.
Elizabethtown resident and personal trainer Mark Mueller is often called upon by resolute individuals who are ready to make a lifestyle change. This prompted Mueller to brainstorm a way to help more people who wanted to lose weight but did not know where to start.
Mueller teamed up with the Elizabethtown Chamber of Commerce to come up with E-Town Get Fit: Choose to Lose, a weight loss challenge for the community as a whole. According to Chamber director Ramon Escudero, the weight loss challenge is a great way for businesses to encourage their employees to take the first steps of pursuing a healthier lifestyle. “We are excited to offer this resource to the community,” Escudero said. “This can be the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and something that will provide appropriate venues to build up a healthy community.” Escudero pointed out that a healthier workforce may result in fewer sick days, possibly decreasing insurance rates, and resulting in more productive employees.
The initial weigh-in for the start of the program will be on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at the Elizabethtown Fitness Club, 626 S. Market St., Elizabethtown. The challenge will run through Saturday, April 18. The registration deadline is Monday, Dec. 15. Interested residents may sign up as an individual or as a member of a five-person team. Individuals who sign up will be assigned to a team.
Participants need not be worried about their personal weight being displayed for all to see. Four weigh-ins will calculate the weight of each team, rather than each individual, on four different dates during the competition.
The team aspect will help with motivation, as members will be able to exercise together and hold one another accountable. Four group exercise classes will be offered during the challenge as well, and Mueller will also offer training for teams.
Each team will receive 10 points for each percent of body weight lost as a team. Each team will receive 20 points for each percent of fat lost.The three teams that earn the most points will receive trophies, and every participant will receive a certificate.
Escudero noted that sponsors are still being sought for the program. “We are particularly interested in organizations that work in the health and wellness industry,” he said, adding, “This is the right avenue to offer services (to the participants) and to gain some visibility in the community.” Escudero also shared that sponsors would be able to set up displays during weigh-ins and other program events.
Mueller is certified through the International Sports Sciences Association and he is a certified fitness trainer, as well as a specialist in fitness nutrition. He is excited to help community members set goals and achieve them. “I am focused on fat loss,” he noted. “I want (participants) to learn how to eat right and exercise right, so they lose fat and gain muscle. They will learn to eat (healthier) in order to continue being productive and efficient. We eat to gain strength, energy, and stamina.”
Participants will benefit from the program’s website, http://www.e-towngetfit.com, and its Facebook page, which can be found by searching for “E-town Get Fit.” Both sites will feature exercise and nutrition tips to help participants as the program progresses.
For more information on sponsorship opportunities, readers may contact Escudero at 361-7188. Interested individuals may register for the Choose to Lose program or find additional details at the aforementioned website.