TYRONE, BLAIR COUNTY - Some of us have probably been using the bad weather as an excuse for not getting out and walking or being afraid to drive to the gym.
But more than a hundred area residents chose this winter to start a fitness challenge
Tracey Pierce works out three days a week with a couple of women from her office. She also watches what she eats. That all started just four weeks ago. She says "I lost some weight,lost some percentage of body fat, and I feel better about myself."
Tracey and co-worker Mary Beth Kensinger are committed. "We're very motivated. We're a very competitive group," Mary Beth says.
The two women are on Omni Healthcare's Fitness Challenge Team. Also working out at the Tyrone Hospital's Fitness and Wellness Center,one of their competitors, physical therapist Becky Hanna, from the Procare team.
She says, "it really gives you the push you need to get going. Everybody seems to have a little bit more energy."
They're among 150 people from eleven companies taking part in the Northern Blair Fitness Challenge. It's being spearheaded by the Tyrone Fitness and Wellness Center, and the Northern Blair Recreation Center.
One of their motivating factors--Blair County ranks 56th out of 67 counties in the state, when it comes to residents' health. Tyrone Center Director Murray Fetzer explains, "our goal is to get people out and get them active, get them invested in something, whatever they like doing."
As part of the competition, participants' weight, body mass index and fat percentage are tallied periodically.
"Almost every group we've looked at has negative numbers, which negative in this company is good numbers," Richard Bishop says. He's the director of the Northern Blair Recreation Center.
At the end of the competition on April 26, the group that's lost the most gets a Stanley Cup-style trophy. Mary Beth is predicting the end result, saying confidently, "we're going to win, you bet, you bet!"
Richard Bishop says most of the people in the competition didn't work out before. There's also someone avaiilable to help them with their eating habits.