Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Just a few of the Exeter-Milligan faculty and staff members who are participating in the Live Healthy Nebraska challenge are picture front row from the left Kara Myers, Angie Murphy, Susan Wait, Rhonda Korbelik, Sharon Lott, Marla Weber, John Tauriella.  Back row from the left Casey Pohl, Anita Mueller, Chris Harre, Karen Kahler, Beth Vavra, Laura Kroll.  

Looking for a way to keep herself motivated to exercise Laura Kroll, elementary reading specialist at Exeter-Milligan, approached Superintendent Paul Sheffield inquiring about a starting a wellness program within the district.

Sheffield noted that the faculty and staff, "had talked amongst ourselves about starting some type of wellness program.  In many of the classes, we teach about physical fitness and nutrition and thought we should provide a positive influence for our students.  Also, if you feel good that radiates in whatever you do.  With the Live Healthy Nebraska program, this was a great way to kick start our own wellness plan."

The program is open to teams of two to ten people. The school offered to pay the entry to the program and offer a few small incentives for the participants. Thirty of the 48 Exeter-Milligan faculty and staff members chosen to participate this year starting in January.

All of the participants can log into the Live Healthy Nebraska to record their goals and progress. Each week they enter any weight loss and their exercise minute totals in the LHN website on a private site. The site then combines the teams total weight loss and exercise time so that the teams can compare their progress.
So far the three Exeter-Milligan teams have recorded, “152 lbs lost and have charted 591 hours and 55 minutes of activity which equates to 2,367 miles,” according to Kroll.

Participants have another month to log their information on the LHN site as the contest ends April 29th, The information can be used for teams to compete against each other but at Exeter-Milligan, “ We have chosen to motivate all members of each team instead of competing against one another,” said Kroll.

So far the two campuses, North and South, have exchanged motivational poems, purchased healthy snacks for each other and encouraged each other to log exercise minutes.

Kroll sees more than just health benefits in the project, “I thought this would get teachers not only exercising together but sharing ideas and successes. When you have high school on one end of the building and elementary on the other end, plus the fact that we have two buildings, you don't always make the time to share and build on each other's strengths.”

What you think is healthy and what is healthy posters have been one of the most eye opening projects during the LNH, according to Kroll. Participants have been cutting out nutritional labels to increase the awareness of the true healthiness of the foods they have eaten. As part of the LHN program they received a T-shirt, some healthy food coupons and a magazine subscription of their choosing to a periodical that encourages healthy living.

This year over 7500 Nebraskans have participated in the LHN program.

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