Program designed to help participants with overall wellness and weight loss goals

Get Fit 2014 and the Mexico YMCA are encouraging Mexico residents to "find a work out buddy and become a challenge champion."
Get Fit 2014 is an eight-week exercise program designed to advance participants' overall wellness and weight loss goals. Teams of two earn points by attending fitness classes, working out in the Wellness Center, walking on the YMCA track and losing weight. Points are tabulated each week and posted for teams to track their progress.
YMCA Director Sherry Medley said, "The Get Fit challenge started at (the Mexico) YMCA (more than) 15 years ago. It grew from a brainstorming session with fitness staff about what they could do to help people with their New Year's resolutions, most of which revolve around weight loss. The focus was just not on weight loss but on a healthy lifestyle, and the relationship between calories consumed and calories expended through daily living and exercise. Exercise is the key!"
Kickoff is scheduled for Jan. 11, and scoring will start the following day. The program begins with an initial weigh-in, where starting measurements will be recorded.
Optional challenges will be issued by fitness staff throughout the eight weeks. The challenges could include holding a body plank position for 30 seconds or doing a certain amount of sit-ups. The challenges are optional and devised to add fun and variety to the program, though extra points can be earned.
Team members will need to sign in when they come to class or the YMCA to work out. Points are earned with each workout. Participants will also earn points from the weekly weigh-ins based on pounds lost. Additional points will be earned from the extra challenges and from final measurements. The final weigh-in will take place March 8.
"The Get Fit Challenge is open to everyone, but there is a different fee for YMCA-members than non-members. "We also discount the join fee at the end for non-members if they should decide to join the YMCA and continue with their program," said Medley.
Get Fit will cost YMCA-members $30 and potential members $60. The Mexico YMCA is offering its annual membership at half price, Saturday during the annual YMCA Heroes Day.
Participants don't have to track calories or keep food journals, but are encouraged to look into new apps that track exercise and calorie intake. In the past, nutritionists have given seminars during the Get Fit program, depending on whether or not participants are interested.
The Get Fit program doesn't resemble television programs like "The Biggest Loser," in that trainers won't be screaming at the participants and Medley doesn't expect any tears, but prizes will be given to the team that earns the most points.
Medley said participants are required to be part of a team because, "An exercise buddy is a great motivational tool. There is someone depending on you to show up and go to class with you or walk with you. We might let ourselves down but are less likely to let down a friend who is expecting you to show up."
Last years winning team, husband and wife Sarah and Randy Gooch, enjoy participating in the challenge because of the extra motivation it adds to their usual workout routine. The pair kept a precise food journal, which they continue to help them keep the weight off. Last year Sarah surpassed her 15 pound goal by losing 17. Randy hopes to lose 30 this year. Randy intends to "do what ever it takes to win the challenge."
"I am hoping to learn some strategies (to reach my goal) during the Get Fit challenge," Randy said.
Sarah has favorite workout routines. "I spend most of my time in the Wellness Center on the Arc Trainer and lifting weights," she said. "I also use the new walking/running track."
Several new classes have been added since the YMCA expanded last year. These include the popular Body Pump class, TRX suspension training, a Functional Strength class and Broga (yoga for men). The YMCA also offers yoga, pilates, abs classes, step classes, circuit classes, low impact aerobics, chair exercise classes, and water classes. Pickleball teams are forming and racquetball and horse (basketball) leagues are also in the works.
Medley stresses to potential Get Fit team members that the keys to success are to "get started with a motivated partner; stay committed; make exercise part of your routine; take a class."