Albany -- 30 people have been participating in the "Choose 2 Lose" program for the past six weeks and are already seeing major results. This program was started by a local personal trainer who wanted to make his services more accessible.
His eight week program encourages the practice of healthy lifestyle habits with the support of a team. Three teams compete to make the fastest time after each team member runs back and forth carrying an extra 45 pounds.
But the resistance from the weight in this challenge doesn't compare to the negative consequences caused by their extra weight gain. "My blood pressure is high. I am on medication. My cholesterol is high. And this is something I really needed to do," said Tony Johnson.
"I was excessively overweight. I was an athlete nine years ago and I've accumulated a lot of pounds since than," said Amie Henry.
Only six weeks into the program, many are already seeing changes. "It's a eight week program and so far I have lost 20 pounds, so major results," said Henry.
"The numbers have been outstanding. As a group they have lost 17 pounds average," said program developer, Matt Hardwick.
And the key to their success has been the teamwork. "A lot of times, you will be struggling, but if you see your teammates in there and cheering you on, you get a burst of energy and you can make it through," said Johnson.
It's also the group setting that makes this program possible. "In my years of experience often times it is catered to a select few because of the cost of personal training. By putting it into a group setting, it made it more affordable," said Hardwick.
Along with bi-weekly challenges, there is education on proper nutrition. "Everyone wants to cheat and get fast food. And we try to guide them in the right directions," said team coach, Garrett Martin.
But daily exercise, team challenges and practicing proper eating habits is only a part of the strategy. "We try to make this fun for them," said Martin. Having fun is what will help make these positive habits stick long after the program.
To sign up for the next "Choose 2 Lose" group, you can reach Matt Hardwick at 229-420-3515.