GREEN  Response to the first Healthy Green 8-Week Challenge this summer was so great, the city and Cleveland Clinic are doing it all over again this fall.

"We had really good results the last time around, with the average (weight loss) around six pounds," said Cleveland Clinic Program Manager Sara Arend. "We had 44 participants and we have a waiting list of about 11 (for the upcoming fall program)."

Arend said about half of the summer participants utilized the Clinic’s LifeStyles gym facilities, with several continuing to use the facility on their own following the challenge.

"A lot of the participants also commented on the health education speakers and topics, which were relevant to the participants," she added. "And it was nice to see the relationships this fostered – we had two ladies who have now become workout partners.  This is about making healthy changes in people’s lives. We are very happy with the results and the feedback from participants."

Green resident Kevin Carris said his daughter encouraged him to sign up for the program in June.

"I came into it open minded; I would get use the LifeStyles facilities for two months for free," Carris said. "I thought, what do I have to lose?"

What Carris did lose by participating in the program was 25 pounds, though he said he would "still like to lose another 25."

Carris, 60, said that while he already considered himself a fairly health-conscious person, he feels anyone can improve with a program like the Healthy Green 8-Week Challenge. He commended the city for its focus on the health and fitness of its residents, adding that he only wishes more people would take advantage of such opportunities.

Fall session

The second free Healthy Green 8-Week Health Challenge will begin Sept. 8, with pre-program screenings - including blood pressure, height, weight and BMI – taking place between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at LifeStyles, 1940 Town Park Boulevard.

Each Tuesday evening from Sept. 11 through Oct. 27, Healthy Green participants will learn about health topics at the education sessions. Participants will be encouraged to track attendance at classes and programs, as well as improvements in blood pressure and BMI. Prizes will be awarded to the top three point earners at the end of the program.

First-time participants will be allowed access to LifeStyles Green for free up to three times each week during the challenge. The LifeStyles facility includes a six-lane lap pool, recreation pool and warm water therapy pool; fitness equipment and free weights; whirlpool, sauna, and steam room; gymnasium and indoor track, group exercise classes including yoga, Pilates, cardio, functional fitness, cycling and aquatic classes; free rock wall certification classes; and the aforementioned health education seminars.

Space is limited and registration is required for the program. To register, contact Arend at 330-721-5992 or sarend@ccf.org.  

"It is inspiring to hear about some of the individual successes from the first healthy challenge," said Green Mayor Gerard Neugebauer. "Special thanks to the Cleveland Clinic Akron General for offering this kick-start free to residents who are ready to step up their fitness and improve their health."

In addition to the Health Challenge, the city and community partners offer free or low-cost programs to promote overall fitness and well-being as part of the Healthy Green Initiative.  Neugebauer said the city is seeking additional health partners who offer free or discounted fitness or healthy living and lifestyle programs.  Contact Troy Clevenger at 330-896-5015 or clevenT@ccf.org for more information.