TYRONE, BLAIR COUNTY - Thanks to friendly competition, some area workers are in much better shape than they were only a few months ago. Employees at nine companies battled it out in the Northern Blair County Corporate Fitness Challenge. And on Thursday, the winners proudly collected their prizes.
The group of about a dozen from Chicago Rivet Machine Company in Tyrone can claim it's 134 pounds ligher. Chris Moore lost the most weight in this group. "I do feel a lot better," Chris says. "Now I can bend over and tie my shoe in the middle, instead of off to the side,"
Chris dropped about 33 pounds since the end of January and no longer needs his diabetes medication. As a group, the Chicago Rivet workers lost nearly 134 pounds.
For their efforts they received a winners cup, appropriately full of fruit, and a healthy meal courtesy of Tyrone Hospital's Fitness and Wellness Center and the Northern Blair County Recreation Center, sponsors of the competition.
Steve Gildea, CEO and President of Tyrone Hospital says,"it created a spirit of fun and excitement and enthusiasm towards losing weight and getting to the gym."
During the challenge, participants could work out at either Tyrone Hospital's Wellness Center or the Northern Blair Recreation Center. And they received help improving their eating habits.
"It actually became very close between Chicago Rivet and Delgrosso's Amusement Park," says Richard Bishop, director of the Northern Blair Recreation Center.He says when organizers calcuated the total body mass, fat count, and weight loss at the end of the contest, Chicago Rivet won by four-tenths of a point.
The combined total weight loss of the nine companies topped the goal of 1,000 pounds. How did they do it?
Chris says, "I watched what I ate, how much I ate and I just started walking at a brisk pace. It wasn't that hard. It came off real easy."
Gildea adds, "once you get going I think there's some sort of inside drive that keeps people moving." And the goal is to keep these new fitness buffs moving. For next year, they're considering doubling the weight loss target to 2,000 pounds.
Plans are also in the works to develop a county-wide fitness challenge. Blair County ranks near the bottom of the state when it comes to the health of residents.