IN the coming weeks, a charitable challenge will be undertaken at Crossfit Limavady by over 20 vying contenders to raise money for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland and to improve their personal lifestyles.
The province wide initiative has found its way to Limavady and there seems to be plenty who are willing to begin 2020 in the healthiest way possible.
The overall aim of the challenge is to get people to start thinking differently about food, nutrition and exercise whilst raising funds for a worthy cause.
It is hoped that the participants will see direct benefits over the six week programme. They will have created the most positive of habits so that when the six weeks are complete, they will want to keep up their healthy lifestyle.
This will in return help to reduce the risk of getting certain preventable cancers and illnesses associated with a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.
The challenge has been dubbed as 'Fitness Factor' and will run for six weeks, starting on Tuesday January 14 when an induction will take place.
The classes will take place on a Tuesday and Thursday at 8.30pm and on Saturday at 8am.
The induction will include a weights and measurements recording which will be taken at the beginning and at the end of the six week period.
All measurements will be taken in confidence so all will feel comfortable.
There will then be a points system installed throughout the six weeks where the challengers will be awarded points for health improvements, for example shedding 1kg will earn a point, and decreasing waist measurements will also earn points.
Points will also be earned for classes attended.
All competitors are required to raise a minimum of £300 and points will be awarded for each £100 raised over the required amount.
The overall winner will be the person who has built up the highest number of points, that is the person who has improved their health the most, went to the most classes and raised the most money.
The prize for the winner of the six week challenge will be an engraved trophy, a certificate and a £300 voucher to use at the Crossfit Gym in Limavady.
Emma McCann from Cancer Focus Northern Ireland spoke to the Northern Constitution and said: “The purpose of the challenge is not just about losing weight.
“It is about implementing and maintaining a healthy living habit which can positively impact on your overall health.
“You look online and you see a plethora of these multi-week gym challenges and transformations which are really short terms solutions to deeper lifestyle habits.
“With Fitness Factor we want to do it differently and address your whole lifestyle and your attitude towards exercise and food. Simple and healthy eating habits can have such a massive affect on overall health.
Emma continued: “We want all competitors to remain active after they finish and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“It doesn't have to be intense training. Even a little exercise can make all the difference.
“Hill walking and short distance jogging can all help.
“I want to stress that people embarking on the challenge will be welcomed and encouraged from the very get go and throughout.
“We want people to feel comfortable in exercising and changing their lives.
“Sometimes even turning up to the gym for the first time is the most difficult part of the programme.
“We want to treat participants with empathy and support.
“I know where people are coming from and I know how tough it can be to make a lifestyle change.
“A number of years ago, I wouldn't have considered myself to have been an active person.
“I decided that I wanted a lifestyle change and began training four or five times a week and now I am a very active person and I feel the benefits that it has had for my health.”
Emma will also be present at classes throughout the six week challenge as a reminder to participants about the charity involved and to touch base with all competitors. Emma said:
“I will take part in one class every week with all the groups.
“It shows that we are all working towards one goal and reminds people that Cancer Focus is what is bringing everyone together.”
The challenge has taken place in Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt and will be coming to Maghera soon.
All money raised in the area will be used by Cancer Focus NI to fund their services in the North West.