January 25, 2011

Sign-up under way for ‘Healthiest Loser’ contest

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Here’s a casting call for Southern Illinois University Carbondale students.

Is 2011 the year you become the healthiest you that you can be? Could you be this year’s Saluki’s Healthiest Loser?

Here’s your chance to find out. Now is the time to register for the third annual competition that runs Feb. 21 through April 8. The post-testing is set for 7 p.m. April 13 with the wrap-up celebration soon thereafter.

Based loosely on television’s “Biggest Loser,” the twist is that this contest is all about learning to lead a healthy lifestyle for improved overall fitness and well-being. The challenge pairs participants with a fitness team to assist them with setting goals and implementing a complete fitness program. Contestants get a medical screening, a personalized diet and nutritional program, fitness assistance and training, and access to individual and group workouts of all kinds.

Each and every person is unique so each nutritional program and workout must fit to really work. That’s what makes Saluki’s Healthiest Loser such a rousing success, according to Lynne Thompson-Cundiff, assistant director of fitness for Recreational Sports and Services.

“This isn’t about making everyone fit into a standardized plan but about finding what works for each contestant to help them make healthy and fun lifestyle changes,” Thompson-Cundiff said.

The contest is open to all full-time undergraduate or graduate students in good academic standing who have a body mass index of 25 or greater and are agreeable to exercising regularly and attending weekly seminars during the contest. Participants earn points by gaining lean muscle mass, losing inches, increasing flexibility and lifting strength, decreasing body fat percentage, working out, attending seminars and more.

Those accumulating the most points will win great prizes. First prize is 16 personal training sessions, a $320 value. Second prize is 12 sessions with a personal trainer, valued at $240, while third place is eight sessions, a $150 value.

Applications are due no later than 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9. The entry fee is $50 but it entitles competitors to services valued at more than $350.

The application forms and additional details are online at www.reccenter.siu.edu and you can turn them in to the Lifestyle Enhancement Center at the SIUC Student Recreation Center or submit by e-mail to tlc2@siu.edu.

Saluki’s Healthiest Loser 2011 is a collaborative effort from the Student Recreation Center, Student Health Center, Counseling Center and Wellness Center and the Department of Kinesiology.

For more information, contact the SIUC Student Recreation Center at 618/453-1277.