I was in two Wellness Challenges that my local YMCA held, beginning in the Spring of 2012. It's what kick started my weight loss. In addition, my friend and co-founder of this website, Scott, also had success by losing over 25 pounds in the eight week challenge he was in. I will be participating in their next challenge. But this upcoming challenge is vastly different from the ones we were part of.
The Northwest CT YMCA is offering the completely revamped fitness challenge, beginning April 7 and it will run for 8 weeks.
This challenge is exciting as it offers a lot of new ideas. For one thing, the name has changed from Wellness Challenge to Fit Commitment Challenge. Other changes include the amount of people on each team, which is now five and the requirement of wearing a FitKik Pebble, a state of the art fitness tool that monitors all of your daily activity as opposed to the old school pedometer, which wasn't always accurate with the steps.
Members are also required to use an online food journal to keep track of their diet. I have been doing this since the first challenge I was in, so I know it works. Using an online food journal really shows you exactly what your eating and the amount of protein, sodium and so much more. In the other challenges, participants could also submit paper journals, but again, it's tough to be accurate using the old school methods.
I asked Mat Montgomery, the Fitness Director at the Torrington YMCA about some of the changes in the upcoming challenge and the various improvements that have been made from past challenges. You can read his responses below
1. Tell us about the some of the changes in the latest challenge.
The entire challenge has been re-branded and re-named. For starters, I wanted to make this challenge more so about activity than weight loss. We know that weight and body fat reductions are byproducts of moving more and eating better. So why not focus on those important aspects of health rather than the number.
2. One of the changes I noticed has to do with the size of the teams. Why did you increase it from 4 to 5 per team?
We studied the unsuccessful ideas we had in the previous challenges. We noticed that teams who were smaller in size who reluctant to meet weekly for our healthy “challenges” to accumulate points. We want a team like atmosphere where the majority of your team members can participate in everything we have planned!
3. How do you think those who participated in the challenges previously would benefit from this one?
Being a new team member here at the Northwest YMCA I did not have the chance to see how the last one performed. I do know, however, with a fresh perspective as an “newbie” that I could input my ideas to help make a good challenge now a great one.
4. For myself, the first Wellness Challenge was about a lifestyle change, eating the right foods, eliminating the bad foods from my diet. Any advice for first time participants on changes they need to make to their lifestyle to successfully lose weight and get healthier?
Sign up for our Fit Commitment 8 week challenge of course!
5. I know the FitKik can do a lot. Please tell our readers the difference between the FitKik and the old school pedometers.
Technology changes every aspect our lives. Making life more efficient and effective. The FitKik “pebble” is a motion computer that tracks not only steps but distance, calories burned and total time moving throughout the day. This is a pedometer on steroids! More motivation for you and more reliable data for me.
6. I'm sure you'll agree that being part of a team is a great way for people to achieve their fitness goals. For those who do not have enough people for their team, will the Y help find other team mates?
Of course. You do no need a full team of 5 to join the challenge. Sign up online by clicking here or at our Torrington branch YMCA. If I have to join with you myself I make sure you are on a great team!
7. For some people in the challenge, I'm sure exercise will be new to them. Any advice on the best way to begin an exercise program such as this one?
Here at the Northwest YMCA we have a fantastic program complimentary with your membership. The program is called the 6 week starter. 6 appointments with a certified staff over 6 weeks. The program includes strength training, nutritional education and weekly objectives for you to follow to stay motivated. We have it all figured out for you, just stop in and sign up!