Special recreation has the potential to change lives. We see it every day in our programs.
This fall, we launched a brand new program, the Lose to Live Challenge, for families who want to change their lives by embracing a healthier lifestyle.
Inspired by the popular "Biggest Loser" television show, the Lose to Live Challenge is a 15-week program designed to improve overall health and wellness and promote an active lifestyle. Six teams of participants and family members have made a significant commitment to change their activity level and nutritional choices.
During the first 10 weeks of WDSRA programming, teams meet three times a week. Teams work one day with a trainer to learn how to exercise properly, a second day with a nutritionist to learn how to make better food choices and a third day with a WDSRA program supervisor to explore activities that will get them moving.
In the final five weeks, they take what they learned home with them in the hopes that they can sustain those same good choices.
The hope is that they are creating good habits, changing not-so-good ones and finding the multitude of benefits that come with living a healthier lifestyle. Perhaps there will be some weight loss, muscle strength increased, more energy gained and a brighter outlook for how they can live their life.
I cannot be more proud of each of our participants (and the family members partnering with them) as they work hard both in the gym and at home.
We can all be inspired by their commitment. Changing diet and exercise habits is something that most of us struggle with on a regular basis. I want each team to know that they are not alone in their struggle. They have the support of fellow team members, the entire WDSRA staff and many friends and family to help them on their journey.
While our teams are working hard, a program of this nature is only possible through the cooperation and support of many partners. The Lose to Live Challenge is supported through a grant from the Genetech Foundation and the Alfred Bersted Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. It was developed in cooperation with the Glen Ellyn, Wheaton and Carol Stream Park Districts.
I invite you to follow this journey and encourage you to reach out with your own words of encouragements to all the teams through our blog at www.wdsra.com/blog/following or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WDSRA.
Sandy Gbur is the executive director of the Western DuPage Special Recreation Association.