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Challenge Idea: Make a Plan for a Heart-Healthy Weight

Challenge each of your department members to make a plan to lose weight or to maintain their heart-healthy weight. If you are overweight or obese, carrying this extra weight puts you at risk for developing many diseases, especially heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Losing this weight helps to prevent and control these diseases. The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t about short-term dietary changes. It’s about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses. Staying in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age. Learn more at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/index.html.

Challenge Rules:

  1. Complete “Your Weight and Health Profile.”
  2. Set a goal for the end of August, then for each month after that.
  3. You have successfully completed the challenge for the month when you have taken steps to get in control of your weight by making a plan to lose weight or maintain your heart-healthy weight. But don’t stop here – keep it going all year long!

To motive your department members, send out weekly emails with tips on losing weight, articles about the benefits of staying in shape, and inspirational quotes from athletes or other notable sources. Check in with each participant to see how they are progressing and encourage them to keep going. Organize healthy lunches and group fitness activities with your department. Take advantage of National Firefighter Health Week, August 17-21, 2009, to learn more about important health issues and daily steps you can take to enjoy a heart-healthy lifestyle.

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