With more than a third of adults in Texas overweight and one in three students in the Lone Star State at high risk of obesity, civic leaders, health care professionals and fitness advocates are creating a program to reverse an increasingly unhealthy trend.
The Healthy Living Alliance is a long-range, multifaceted program sponsored by Montgomery County United Way to help teach area residents about the benefits of healthier living and encourage them to adopt lifestyle changes that will lead to more productive living.
The goal is to coordinate existing programs in the community and spearhead new initiatives to reach as many people as possible, said Christie Sproba, project manager. Some people know the basics of nutrition and exercise but we want to show them innovative ways to incorporate these concepts in their lives.
Its a concept with which Sproba is very familiar. In 2008, she created Losing to Win, a special program to encourage team and individual weight loss in Conroe. Two years later, she worked with Conroe Parks & Recreation on the Battle of the Bulge program with similar goals.
Sprobas goal is to organize the efforts of various organizations throughout Montgomery County to reach as many residents as possible. The first proactive measure of the organization has been to designate April as Healthy Living month.
Were encouraging residents to join together with people at work, church, school, clubs or friends and adopt healthier activities for 30 days, Sproba said. The idea is to try something new for a limited time were hoping they see the benefits and it leads to permanent change.
Those interested can visit the organizations website at www.healthylivingmc.com for information and receive regular updates and information on programs throughout Texas as HLA expands its influence in Montgomery County.
Were encouraging groups to make slide shows and videos of their 30-day experiment, Sproba said. We want this to be fun.
But the underlying message is serious. State and county health department statistics show a trend of obesity in children and adults. Being overweight and out of shape can lead to a variety of health-related problems.
Plus being more active gives you more energy, Sproba said. The effort is its own reward.
Thats a message that needs to be hear loud and often, said Sproba, especially with children. She has created a special pilot program called Healthy Me currently going on at Meador Elementary School in Willis.
The program combines active participation from all phases of the school teachers, nutritionists, administrators and volunteers working together to encourage healthier lifestyle choices.
Our initial results are very encouraging, Sproba said. Our goal is take our results to other school districts and show them how such a program can be incorporated into their campuses.
Sproba also has the interest and support of a wide range of volunteers, led by Bob Abendschein, of Anadarko Oil, and the local medical community. A physicians education dinner, sponsored by St. Lukes The Woodlands Hospital and Texas Childrens Hospital was held Jan. 9 to create awareness and build support.
Our long-term goal is to increase the number of residents in Montgomery County living at a healthy weight by 10 percent by 2020, Sproba said. By working together with other organizations, its a good goal and one we can achieve.
Sproba has a two-year commitment from Montgomery County United Way to head up HLA. At the end of that period, she and the organization will assess the role and determine its future.
Im passionate about helping people see the benefits of nutrition and exercise and that adopting a healthier lifestyle can improve their lives, Sproba said. Weve got the chance to do something very good in Montgomery County.
For more information about Healthy Living Alliance, visit www.healthylivingmc.com.
- ^ www.healthylivingmc.com (www.healthylivingmc.com)
- ^ www.healthylivingmc.com (www.healthylivingmc.com)
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