Ararat College staff are seeing results in new healthy program

Barbara Blamey, Ararat YMCA co-ordinator Peter Harrison and Sandra Jelowyi with the other entrants in the 12 week challenge. Picture: PETER PICKERING
Barbara Blamey, Ararat YMCA co-ordinator Peter Harrison and Sandra Jelowyi with the other entrants in the 12 week challenge. Picture: PETER PICKERING

ARARAT - Participants are already starting to see results five weeks into the Get Healthy, Stay Healthy program run by Ararat College.

About 30 people, mostly made up of teaching and office staff from Ararat College, registered to participate in the 12 week program.

Sandra Jelowyi, an organiser of the program said Ararat College had brought together the resources of the Ararat YMCA for personal training, East Grampians Health Service for information sessions from the local dietician, exercise physiologist, counsellor and life coach, along with the Ararat City Council's government Shape Up Australia program.

"Things have started really well," Ms Jelowyi said.

"We have been having information sessions once and week with a guest speak and they have been well received."

Health and fitness co-ordinator Peter Harrison said the Ararat YMCA was assisting by providing group fitness training sessions, along with regular weigh-ins and blood pressure readings.

"In addition to this we have also provided a healthy habits coaching seminar, in which participants have been requested to set healthy and achievable weight loss and fitness related goals," he said.

"Through their exposure to group exercise and fun challenges, the participants will be encouraged in their weight loss journey and will begin to forge long term habits that assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle."

The whole program has been inspired by The Biggest Loser, with participants in the 12-week event being split into two teams and are attending regular challenges and health checks at Ararat College.

"We have had three challenges so far," Ms Jelowyi said.

"Our most recent was in the school gym and was run by our two PE teachers. The challenge involved a pack of cards and for example if you drew out a three of hearts you had to do three push ups or five of diamonds meant five star jumps.

"The winner was which team got through the deck first, but it turned out neither team was able to complete it, so we are looking to include this again later in the program as part of the final challenge and hopefully everyone's fitness will have improved enough to complete it."

Participants recorded their initial weight, while a midway weigh-in will be held next week before a final weigh-in on July 24.

The final weigh-in will be followed by a dinner on July 25 where the winner (biggest weight loss percentage) will be announced.

"The winner will receive a cash prize of $500 for themselves and $500 for their chosen school," Ms Jelowyi said.

"We've had great support so far including shirts for the event being provided by Foster's Mensland Ararat and Impact Teamwear Ballarat, along with sponsorship for the prize and award night being provided by Thomas Catering Equipment Ballarat, Southern Cross Business Machines Ballarat, Stawell Motor Company and Ararat College."