ROCK HILL, S.C. - The Upper Palmetto YMCAs, Winthrop University and Piedmont Medical Center will offer for the second year in a row a successful wellness initiative aimed at improving the health of York County residents.
York County Shrinkdown will run for 10 weeks from Jan. 11 to March 17. The program, offered by the area’s leaders in health care wellness and education, is an effort to address the obesity epidemic in the region.
Participants in the program are challenged to focus on healthy eating and safe exercise. During the York County Shrinkdown, participants will weigh in weekly at designated sites and receive additional information to support healthy lifestyles. Free "Health Talks" programs on nutrition, fitness and health also will be offered throughout the 10 weeks.
The success of last year's inaugural York County Shrinkdown was clearly evident as nearly 2,500 residents lost close to 5,000 pounds. Sponsors hope to expand the program to encourage more participation by families, corporations and community groups in 2007.
The Shrinkdown concept began two years ago when the YMCA of Greenville partnered with Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center and Furman University to pilot a free eight-week wellness and healthy living program. The program expanded last year to 11 other South Carolina communities.
This year the participating YMCAs are: YMCA of Columbia, Upper Palmetto YMCA, Pickens County YMCA, Cleveland County YMCA, Anderson Area YMCA, Greenwood Family YMCA, Florence Family YMCA, Sumter Family YMCA, YMCA of Coastal Carolina-Georgetown, YMCA of Greenville, Family YMCA of Greater Laurens, YMCA of Beaufort County and YMCA of Greater Spartanburg.
The York County Shrinkdown kickoff will last from noon-7 p.m. on Jan.11 at the Winthrop Coliseum. Those attending will weigh-in, participate in health screenings and fitness checks and receive a Healthy Living Guide booklet loaded weekly with information about nutrition, exercise and health education. The first 1,500 people to register will receive a free T-shirt.
The first "Health Talks" are planned on Jan. 16, 17 and 18. Speakers will talk about fad diets at three locations, Lesslie Elementary School, Charlotte YMCA and Rock Hill Aquatics Center. Other January lectures will cover youth obesity and cardiovascular disease.
A grand finale March 17 at the Charlotte YMCA will wrap up the program, with drawings, prizes and awards.
For more information, call Ellen Wilder-Byrd or Judy Longshaw at 803/323-2236.