Take the Fitness Challenge

Did you know? The next six weeks could give you six-pack abs
By Paul Viau | Sep 27, 2012
Photo by: Carol Viau THIS BUD'S FOR YOU — Bud Dirscherl, "Bud Man" of Healthy Haywood's Living Action Team, knows that the sandwich board is healthier than the sandwich.

These days, you can’t pick up a newspaper or magazine or turn on the television, without hearing the words "obesity" and "epidemic" in the same sentence.

Yes, America’s weight problem is well documented, and if you think we are unaffected here in Haywood County, take the blinders off for one minute and look around you — at work, in church, in the store — or better yet, in the mirror.

It’s no wonder that health care professionals are so concerned.

I consider myself in pretty good shape for an old geezer, but I certainly don’t like what I see when I look in the mirror, let alone on Main Street, at the golf course or at the much-maligned Walmart — where there are more scooters in use than any roundabout in Italy.

Thankfully, some of Haywood County’s most dedicated people are tackling this enormous (no pun) problem with programs that promote the fitter (not fatter) side of life.

And one of most successful action groups in the area is Healthy Haywood.

Their succinct and simple mission is “To improve the health of Haywood County citizens,” and their Healthy Living Action Teams are at work year ‘round — bringing nutrition programs to our schools, paving the way for more walking and hiking trails, and encouraging a greater community focus on health and fitness.

One of Healthy Haywood’s finest efforts is the annual Fitness Challenge. In year’s past, the Fitness Challenge has taken place during the first ten weeks of spring, so all of us who spent a more sedentary winter, could focus on getting back in shape — to fit in that new bikini, work more easily around the yard, or even walk 18-holes of golf, instead of driving a cart.

I missed not having the Fitness Challenge this spring, but I am coming around to Healthy Haywood’s new way of thinking — giving us all a big  ‘kick in the pants” in early fall to encourage all to pursue fitness and stay more active all winter long.

The kick-off for that “kick in the pants” was Bud Dirscherl, member of Healthy Haywood’s Living Action Team, parading in costume with sandwich boad — on a mission “through Main Street, Russ Avenue … and beyond.”

When it comes to fitness, Bud is my hero.

The 2012 Fitness Challenge runs from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, with registration this week at participating fitness facilities. And this program is truly a bargain. Just $10 buys you a punch-card good for 24 visits to local fitness outlets — from Strick Fitness Center to Junaluska driving range … Old Mountain Health Center to Smoky Mountain Sk8way roller rink. And this program is open to all ages.

The big kickoff for the Fitness Challenge was Tuesday, Oct. 2 at Waynesville Rec Center, and several hundred participants gathered for a “taste’ (introduction) to the many fitness options available here in Haywood County.

As in all other ways we are blessed to live in such a great community, and I plan to take full advantage of this year’s Fitness Challenge — and develop good habits that will keep me moving this winter.

I urge you to do the same. Get off your duffs and take the 2012 Fitness Challenge. Registration is all this week, and you can get detailed information by e-mailing Healthy Haywood’s director, Steffie Duginske (sduginske@haywoodnc.net) or by visiting the Website at www.healthyhaywood.org.

See you at the gym.