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Wellness about taking first steps

The Clark County Activity Coalition’s Wellness Challenge is improving the health of residents one person — well, actually more like 927 — at a time.

The 12-week event, sponsored by Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation department in cooperation with several other partners, culminated Saturday with six winners being named.

Bronson Noe won the male division, losing 17 percent of his body weight. Tiffany Fletcher won the female division, losing 18.6 percent of her body weight.

At the end of the day, all 927 participants were winners when it came to positive health outcomes, losing a total of 3,218 pounds.

This may sound like a relatively small impact, but that equates to nearly 1,000 families that are healthier thanks to this annual initiative that at least doubled this year. And when you consider that each of these individuals will likely influence one or more people, that is exactly how a grassroots effort to improve the overall health of our county starts to really take root.

The challenge requires a lot of community investment, with about 20 different agencies, businesses and organizations rising to the challenge. These range from nonprofit organizations to restaurants to health practitioners to fitness venues and much more.

Examples of things included in the challenge were free access to particular group fitness classes at College Park gym, free classes at The OM Place, CrossFit Strode Station, Dance2Fit and The Barre: A Fitness Boutique; discount punch cards at Grace Coffee Cafe and Bakery, Full Circle Market, Cairn Coffee House and Gaunce’s Deli and Cafe; classes on modifying exercise because of an injury, using journaling to boost wellness success, making smoothies, cooking for wellness and much more.

Data continues to show that Clark County has much room to improve when it comes to getting its citizens to live healthy lifestyles. In many cases, this has become a generational problem that has continued for decades.

This challenge will not be overcome overnight, but we are encouraged to see the county move forward not one but 927 steps at a time.