The GEMS staff started off the new year of 2017 with a health challenge.  All staff members were invited to participate, and 52 jumped at the chance to improve their health and possibly win a few prizes to boot; that is a little less than half of the staff at GEMS!

GEMS Health ChallengeJoining this health challenge were senior citizens, a pregnant teacher, staff members who wanted to lose a significant amount of weight, staff members who wanted to maintain their weight, staff members who already regularly worked out, and staff members who were starting a brand new workout routine.

The program started on January 3rd and ended February 21st. Most participants were weighed in by our school nurse, Terry Shaw, and each team of four kept track of their workouts and reported the weekly totals to Shawn Allard. If a team earned enough points for workouts, they were allowed to anonymously take one to three points away from any team they chose, which added greatly to the competitiveness. Any team organizing an activity for anyone to participate in was awarded two points and was allowed to take two points away from any other team.

Some of the activities that were organized were Zumba, pickleball, snowshoeing, recipe exchanges, working out to cd’s, yoga, walking on the school walking path, and ping pong.

Evidence of a successful contest can be broken down into numbers:

  • Total weight lost:  311 pounds!  That’s an average of about 6 pounds per person.
  • Total workouts:  1,866; that’s an average of 36 workouts per person – or a little more than 5 workouts a week per person.

This Health Challenge was a wonderful way to help many of us get started on a healthy path this year.  Many thanks go to Shawn Allard, our elementary physical education teacher, for organizing and managing this competition.His intention was for us to have fun and for it to be a little  “Survivor-ish.”

Mission accomplished, Shawn! 

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