"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"
-Margaret Mead

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wellness Challenge dares Wood County residents to stay fit

Marshfield News Herald- February 4, 2011
Kirsten Sebold has an idea for her fellow teammates on the Wood County Wellness Challenge -- they all could go cross-country skiing together.

"It's really fun, we should do it," said Sebold's teammate Jodi Ertl.

Diane Fehrenbach, another teammate, looked down at her card of wellness activities and said, "Now we're talking about it."

Not only are they talking about skiing together, they're talking about bowling, tubing and snowshoeing -- a host of activities the five team members wouldn't have talked about before joining the wellness challenge.

Sebold, Fehrenbach, Ertl, Ben Corcoran and Josh Nagel are teachers or counselors at Auburndale Elementary School and are one of three teams from the school that have enlisted in the Wood County Wellness Challenge, which began Feb. 1 and runs through April.

"The goal of the challenge is to help them make healthy choices every day," said Amber Engen, a coordinator of the Wellness Challenge at Marshfield Clinic. Participants can be teams or individuals, but they had to join the challenge before it started.

About 60 teams in the Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids areas are competing against one another in the challenge by using bingo cards that assign an activity for the next three months.

February is the Moves month and encourages teams to dance for 10 minutes, go ice skating or play a Wii Fit for at least 30 minutes. In March, teams are challenged to drink green tea, eat whole grains or try skim milk.

Finally, in April, the teams can mix up the activities and attempt to go a full day without television, recycle or volunteer their time.

Each time a team or individual fills out their card, they can enter a prize drawing at the end of each month, Engen said. One of the prizes is a membership to a local gym.
The Auburndale school team members have different reasons for participating in the challenge, but they agree leading a healthier lifestyle is the central goal.

"I figure basically during the winter people are pretty sedentary and don't work out," Corcoran said. "It's nice to do something in a group and have it be physical."

There also is a benefit of doing a challenge like this in a group, Engen said. The Auburndale group plans on joining two other teams for a bowling match in order to knock off one of their bingo squares.

"They always say if you have other people to exercise with and do activities, it energizes you to do better," Sebold said. "We'll be more successful."

At the Opportunity Development Center in Marshfield, Kathy Becker is the team leader of the only client-based team for the nonprofit vocational service agency.
Every day she's encouraging team members Janet Winch, 55, and Sherry Fitzel, 50, to read food labels and eat healthier.

"It's kind of harder with getting that message across to people with disabilities," Fitzel said. "But we're trying to promote it and reinforce that they have fruits and veggies."

When Fitzel views one of the team members picking a healthy snack on their own, she points out that they've made a good choice.
Even once the challenge is over, there's no need to stop, Fehrenbach said.

"I'm making copies of my bingo cards so I can keep it going," she said.

Friday, February 11, 2011

You're Invited

(Click on invite to enlarge)

The problem of obesity is complex. The solutions don't have to be. We know what works to prevent obesity, and we need your help!
Email jjung@co.wood.wi.us to RSVP!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Orange you glad I didn't say banana again"

Kristie Rauter
Project Director
Communities Putting Prevention to Work

Kristie Rauter is a Community Health Improvement Planner at the Wood County Health Department. She facilitates the Healthy People Wood County--Community Health Improvement Plan.

Here Kristie is standing next to the produce expert at Piggy Wiggly in Nekoosa. This picture was taken during a fruit taste testing that was held at the grocery store. Keep your eyes "peeled" for other fruit and vegetable character spottings around Wood County.

In her free time Kristie enjoys running, playing volleyball, camping, hiking, and being outdoors! Her passion for health and wellness is something she lives in her work and at play.