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KickStart healthy lifestyle program returns

Special to The Hays Daily News

Hays Medical Center's Center for Health Improvement KickStart Healthy lifestyle program returns in January. KickStart is a free, 10-week program designed to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle to achieve better overall fitness. The program officially begins Jan. 3 and ends March 14.

"We want to focus on developing healthy lifestyle choices, which ultimately lead to better fitness and health," said Stephanie Schaffer, director of the Center for Health Improvement. "It's not about the amount of weight that you lose; it's about the daily choices you make to improve your overall health."

No teams are required; people can sign up individually. There are two weigh-ins; one at the beginning and one at the end. During the 10 weeks, participants will be able to attend free fitness classes in the CHI gymnasium and aquatic center. There will be opportunities to participate in a group walking program, grocery tours, nutrition workshops, attend health presentations and even a few activities for the entire family.

Individuals earn points for attending group fitness classes and other KickStart activities that can be redeemed for prizes such as T-shirts, personal training sessions, massage, CHI gift cards and more. According to Schaffer, the number of free group fitness classes has been expanded for this year's program.

On Jan. 3, all participants will weigh in, be tested for their current fitness levels, activate their KickStart key tag and preview all the KickStart opportunities. The center will offer check-ins from 7 to 9 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 7 p.m., and participants are asked to wear appropriate fitness attire for the fitness level testing.

"We are excited to offer this program again for people in the area," Schaffer said. "Our goal is to help individuals 'kickstart' their own fitness routine by offering a few tools to get them started like the group fitness classes, nutrition workshops and many other wellness opportunities that are available in the community."

Registration for KickStart will begin Saturday and continue until Jan. 3. To register, go to www.thecenter.haysmed.com/kickstart. The kickoff date for this year's event is Jan. 3, with the initial assessment.