N-Lighten Nebraska can make New Years resolutions come true

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's one thing to make a New Years' resolution; it's quite another to keep it.

If you haven't given up on your resolutions yet, there's a good way to keep them: Let someone else know about them and hold you accountable.

That's one of the principles that has made a new statewide program so successful.

In the 2006 N-Lighten Nebraska program, a record 7,968 people lost more than 21,000 pounds and logged nearly 2.5 million miles.

And although the three-month wellness endeavor is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center and St. Francis Medical Center of Grand Island, the magic of the Internet has enabled 1,145 teams from 88 Nebraska counties and 16 states to participate.

They include the Movers-N-Shakers of Benkelman, who placed 14th in activity, logging 1,194 miles.

Averaging nearly seven people, 77 percent of the teams reported at least some progress in accumulated activity and 79 percent in weight loss.

Beginning Feb. 1, participants receive weekly activity and nutrition tips designed to educate and motivate them to practice and adopt sustainable health habits. Participants are encouraged to log activity points and weight totals periodically on the N-Lighten Nebraska Web site and check their progress on a real-time leader board.

Health advocates and media will meet with N-Lighten Nebraska officials at 10 a.m. Thursday at Community Hospital to discuss the program and generate support. Representatives of the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, State Health Department, Area Chamber of Commerce and schools are expected to take part.

So far, participants have lost 75,000 pounds and logged 8 million activity miles under the program, which is coordinated by the Nebraska Sports Council.

So why not get on board? The cost per person is $15 by mail, $13 for online entries, and each participant receives weekly tips, a free T-shirt and more than 5,000 drawing prizes.

To take full advantage of the opportunity, log on to N-LightenNebraska.com or call the Nebraska Sports Council at (800) 304-2637 by Jan. 19 to register your team.

When spring arrives, your New Years resolution to lose weight and exercise will be a reality.

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