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Column: Program creates new team-focused lifestyle challenge

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After hosting Bartholomew County on the Move for 10 years, Reach Healthy Communities has decided to offer a new healthy lifestyles program.

Kenko, which means “health” in Japanese, is an eight-week, team-based wellness challenge that will run from April 2 through May 28.

Teams consisting of two to seven people will compete for points, as well as working to incorporate healthy lifestyle behaviors. At the end of eight weeks, the team with the most points will be crowned the Kenko champion.

“We are very excited about this new healthy-lifestyle challenge,” said Tara Hagan, Healthy Lifestyles assistant and Healthy Communities coordinator. “After 10 years, we decided it was time for a change, and Kenko is the perfect challenge to keep teams motivated to incorporate healthy lifestyles with a twist of fun challenges.”

The Kenko program will include:

Interactive games and challenges.

Social media interaction between teams.

Healthy lifestyle behaviors mentoring.

Health checks.

Lipid/glucose screening.

A new topic will be tracked each week for points. Challenges are optional and based on four main areas:

Improving nutrition.

Increasing physical activity.

Creating a healthy work environment.

Increasing personal health awareness.

Some examples of possible challenges may include healthy eating habits, drinking more water, increasing physical activity, implementing lasting changes in the work environment and being aware of personal health.

Participants can track their points and their team members’ progress online.

Each participant will have an ongoing score based on points earned in various challenges and games.

Kenko also has its own mobile app, giving participants access to real-time scoring. They also will be able to capture culprits with the “Food Police,” let others see healthy habits with “What I Ate,” map out walking trails with “Happy Trails” and more.

The app is available through the Android Market and the iPhone App Store.

“We hope participants will use the social media aspect of the game to encourage each other throughout the challenge,” Hagan said.

Teams can register online at

Cost is $15 per person and includes a free lipid and glucose screening at Columbus Regional Hospital.

Paige Harden Langenderfer is a resident of Columbus, a freelance writer and a public relations consultant. She can be reached by email at

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