Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct information about the 2018 Get Fit Challenge winners and to update the new contact information for the 2019 Challenge.

After a successful Get Fit 2018, the Sedalia Democrat is again challenging the community to get a little healthier with the second annual Get Fit Challenge presented by Bothwell Regional Health Center.

The purpose of the Get Fit Challenge is to promote a healthy and happy lifestyle in Sedalia and surrounding communities by offering unique opportunities and spreading the word of all things healthy in the area.

In 2018, 92 teams signed up, with more than 70 participants reaching the finish line to lose a combined 1,652.8 pounds.

“We were so impressed with the results of our inaugural Get Fit Challenge and we can’t wait to see the community’s efforts in year two,” Publisher Will Weibert said. “Health and fitness are important in my family and I hope this fun initiative helps others incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyle too.”

The challenge will kick off with the Get Fit Health Expo presented by Healthy U hosted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the MEC Building on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. It is free and open to the public, even if visitors don’t plan to sign up for the challenge. The expo will feature information about exercise and facilities in the area, and health care and nutrition options such as chiropractors, physical therapy and nutritionists. The expo will also include initial weigh-ins for competing teams.

New in 2019, the Democrat will offer two challenges with 12-week and 24-week options. Teams may sign up for one or both. The 12-week final weigh-in will be Saturday, April 13 at Brian’s Gym and the 24-week final weigh-in will be Saturday, June 29 at W-K Chevrolet.

Over the course of both weight-loss challenges, citizens will be encouraged to embark on a healthier lifestyle to safely lose weight. There will be a total of $4,000 in cash prizes to the top five teams in each challenge based on the percentage of overall team weight loss.

The cost is $40 per team of two to enter one challenge or $60 per team to enter both challenges. Participants are required to find their own teammate and are encouraged to weigh in together at the expo.

Contestants must be at least 16 years old to participate. The Democrat suggests that all participants consult with their health care professional before starting any weight-loss routine.

The Democrat will not only help citizens have fun with fitness and nutrition through the Get Fit Challenge, but it will also donate to local nonprofits. For each pound lost in the Get Fit Challenge, the Democrat will donate 25 cents to an area nonprofit. For example, if 200 registered teams each lose 40 pounds for a total of 8,000 pounds, the Democrat would donate $2,000. The overall Get Fit Challenge winner will choose the lucky nonprofit(s). The Democrat will donate an additional 25 cents per pound to the Get Fit Youth Fund.

In 2018, Robin McMains and Joel Chappell, of Carbolicious, took first place, losing a team total of 15.94 percent of their initial body weight. In second place was Engaged2Lose with a team total of 15.46 percent lost for Anna Neurdoff and Tansel Jones. Jones lost the most pounds of any participant, losing 102.6 in three months. Team McLosers took third place, with Stephanie and Joe Gilgour losing 15.35 percent of their initial weight. Joe lost 20.25 percent, making him the overall Challenge winner. He chose Cancer Perks, and the Democrat donated $413.20.

Also new this year, the Democrat and community Get Fit partners will host monthly events that are free and open to the public. Time, date, location and activities will be announced through the Democrat’s website and print edition, plus posted in the Get Fit Facebook group.

To register for the Get Fit Challenge 2019, visit sedaliademocrat.com/GetFit. For more information, visit sedaliademocrat.com/GetFit, call 660-530-0154 or email hayleyc@sedaliademocrat.com. Participants are also encouraged to join the Democrat’s Get Fit Sedalia group on Facebook to receive updates about community events and participate in discussions.

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