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Pagosa Fitness Challenge: Lose weight, get fit, win prizes

Have a few pounds you would like to lose before the holidays?

Need some motivation to help you get started?

The Pagosa Fitness Challenge may be the answer.

The Upper San Juan EMT Association, Citizens Bank of Pagosa and Wells Fargo Bank are jointly sponsoring the first Pagosa Fitness Challenge from Sept. 21 to Dec. 21.

The kickoff for the Fitness Challenge will be in conjunction with the Pagosa Mountain Clinic’s Early Detection Week with “weigh-in” from Sept. 21 through Sept. 26, from 8: to 11 a.m. each day at the Pagosa Mountain Clinic (the old Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic) next to Pagosa Mountain Hospital at 95 South Pagosa Blvd.

Cash prizes of $500 each will be awarded to the male, female and team (maximum of five members per team) that has the largest percentage of body weight loss during this time.

The entry fee is $25 for each member and an additional $25 for each team (team members must be already registered as members). The entry fee is tax deductible, benefits the local EMT Association and will fund the cash prizes to be awarded.

In addition to competing for prizes, participants will receive periodic information and tips on healthy weight loss, nutrition and exercise routines from local personal trainers, nutritionists and EMTs.

The latest figures from the CDC demonstrates that obesity continues to be a significant public health problem. It’s not uncommon for a person to be overweight or obese (extremely overweight); in fact nearly two-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese in the United States.

So why is this a problem?

Weighing too much increases your risk for developing many health problems including:

• heart disease;

• stroke;

• Type II diabetes;

• high blood pressure and cholesterol;

• sleep apnea;

• osteoarthritis;

• gallstones and gallbladder disease;

• gastro-esophageal reflux disease (of which heart burn and acid reflux is a symptom);

• gout; and

• psychological and emotional distress.

All of which affect your quality of life and life expectancy. The good news is that you can lower your health risks by losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds; depending on your physical condition and size.

The EMT Association strives to help set and support the highest standards in patient care, EMT skills and education, and to promote community support for both EMTs and a healthier community. For additional information, questions or comments, contact the association at or call Molly Osmera, association president, at 904-4487.

Hope to see you at the weigh-in!