Get “RevvedUP” About Fitness

The epidemic that is wreaking havoc on the 21st century is not smallpox, yellow fever, or cholera; it is obesity.

Recreation centers can help their communities get revved up about fitness. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / wacker

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2010 every state had a prevalence of obesity greater than 20 percent; in 36 states, it was greater than 25 percent; and in 12 states, the rate was more than 30 percent.

There is a need for private and public fitness/nutrition providers to ramp up programs to assist citizens with developing the skills and tools necessary to change their lifestyle and improve their health.

In 2007, Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation in Missouri developed such a program. With the technical support of St. Luke’s Hospital, the parks and recreation department invited 40 families to participate in a pilot program called “RevUP Lee’s Summit.”

Family members were required to participate in pre- and post health-assessment testing, meet minimum exercise goals, attend educational and group exercise sessions, maintain exercise and nutritional logs, and meet regularly with a personal trainer. The project lasted 6 months.

In January 2009, a second RevUP pilot project included participation by 38 park employees. The program, lasting 8 weeks, was designed to encourage active lifestyles and healthy choices.

Employees were required to meet minimum exercise goals, attend educational sessions, and abstain from using tobacco products. Incentives included community-center memberships and time-off credits.

Purposeful Programming

Based on the two pilot projects, the parks and recreation department developed a 12-week program that can be implemented by individuals, groups of friends, organizations, and businesses in the community.

An 8-week maintenance program called “RevUP Reload” is also available for graduates of the earlier program.

Providing the right resources can help people reach their health and fitness goals.  Photo Courtesy of Evan Daniels

The intent is to perform physical pre-testing and nutritional evaluations during the first week. Participants are grouped with a personal trainer and nutritional consultant who develop a physical-fitness and nutritional program based on the realistic goals of the participants and/or organization.

Participants meet weekly with a personal trainer, attend nutritional classes, and receive a “coach call” as a part of the support structure of the program.

Measurable outcomes include:

• Clinical assessments to identify improvements in blood pressure and triglycerides, as well as any changes in glucose, LDL, VLDL, and HDL cholesterol levels.

• Pre- and post-progress physical assessments to measure improvements in cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, body-fat percentage, and flexibility.

• Lifestyle changes associated with positive fitness and nutritional choices, including weekly time spent on physical activity versus sedentary activity, and positive nutritional choices versus poor choices.

Helping Out

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