Categorized | Health

Free healthy lifestyle challenge returns

A Get Fit Hawaii event hosted by Susan Johnson and Bill Case, owners of Five Mountain Fitness in Waimea. (Photo courtesy of Five Mountain Fitness)


Five Mountains Hawaii, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Waimea, with support from the Hawaii Island Beacon Communities HEAL project and local business sponsors, is gearing up for the fifth annual “Get Fit Hawaii” program.

The popular “healthy lifestyle challenge” is a free 10-week, team-based program, created to help people reduce stress, lose weight, become more active and healthier overall, while having fun with friends, co-workers, family or other teammates.

New this year is the option to join as an individual and participate in the online team.

The Get Fit Hawaii challenge gives up to 500 participants, in teams of four to 10 people, valuable tools, resources, rewards and support to accomplish their goals. All participants receive free health screenings, access to fitness activities/classes, great tips from local health professionals, the Get Fit Hawaii newsletters and online resources such as webinars, healthy recipes, food/activity trackers, and a great deal more.

Plus, participants enjoy weekly group challenges and become eligible to win prizes.

In 2011, there were 223 total participants in the Get Fit Hawaii (GFH) program in North Hawai‘i, and the results were very positive. More than 86 percent of those completing the program reported making healthy food choices more often as a result of the program and 60 percent put more physical activity into their lives.

Almost 50 percent of the participants recorded a drop in blood pressure, and 13 percent reported reduced stress.

All together, team members lost 229 total pounds and 95 total inches.

“Participants in 2011 reported that Get Fit Hawaii had a positive influence on friends and family and over 85 percent told us they would recommend Get Fit Hawaii to others,” said Robin Mullin, Executive Director at Five Mountains Hawaii. “The social aspect of GFH is also very important to its success and over half of our participants last year reported making new friends.”

The 2012 program kicks off Sept. 10 and concludes Nov. 16. Free online registration for team leaders is open now through Aug. 23 for all teams island-wide.

One member of each team will be designated as the Team Leader, who attends a free training session (healthy snack provided) to obtain helpful additional resources, program information, coaching, and gifts.

Three Team Leader Training Sessions are scheduled:

* Waimea: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at Tutu’s House, 64-1032 Māmalahoa Highway, 885-6777

* Kona: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Bakken Foundation Conference Room, 73-5619 Kauhola Street, #207, phone 326-9171 or 443-3330

* Hilo: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25 in the Innovations Center, Innovations Center, 117 Keawe Street, #105, phone 933-8611

“One of the things we found was that almost everyone’s family and circle of friends were impacted by those who participated last year in Get Fit Hawaii,” said Holly Algood of North Kohala, who led a team in 2011 and will be a team leader again this year. “So we’re reaching out to the community. We’d love for you to volunteer to be a leader. It costs nothing; you get free training and free tools — and you will be involved in a program where you can become more fit, more healthy, less stressed, and your family can be a part of it as well.”

“It’s a profound experience,” said Jeffrey Mundon of Waimea, another second-time team leader. “In the beginning… {there was} the laziness we had to shake off and the discomfort of eating better and actually moving again… And at the end of it all, we look back and we find that we’re not alone, that now we have a much larger community of healthy, happy people who have the inclination to get out and play more.”

Team leaders may sign up at

General registration and health screening events will be held around the island Aug. 27 – Sept. 1, with registration forms available online beginning Aug. 18.

The following week individuals may register online or at the Five Mountains Hawaii office at 65-1230 Mamalahoa Highway in Waimea and get optional health screenings on their own.

For further information, contact Aileen at 887-1281.

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