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Baxter Wellness Center kicks off 2017 with fitness challenge

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 9:34 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 9:38 a.m. CST
(Anthony Victor Reyes/Jasper County Tribune)
Jenny Thompson, Skiff Medical Center dietician. measures challenge participant Shelli Eatwell's body fat composition Monday for the Baxter's Weight Loss Challenge at the Baxter Wellness Center. The challenge will run through March 11.
(Anthony Victor Reyes/Jasper County Tribune)
Challenge registrant Lindsay Black does push-ups for her fitness test Monday for the Baxter's Weight Loss Challenge at the Baxter Wellness Center.
(Anthony Victor Reyes/Jasper County Tribune)
Members of the community jog on the treadmill to test their fitness level Monday for the Baxter's Weight Loss Challenge at the Baxter Wellness Center.
(Anthony Victor Reyes/Jasper County Tribune)
Baxter Wellness Center offers the community free use of the facility from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.

BAXTER — Beginning the New Year, everyone is making resolutions to shed some weight and get in shape. But how many actually stick to it?

One group of Baxter residents is getting a jump start on their commitment to fitness by participating in a 10-week fitness challenge offered by the Baxter Wellness Center.

Baxter’s Weight Loss Challenge kicked off Monday, Jan. 2, and will run through March 11. With a registration fee of $50, the challenge allows enrollees to monitor their fitness, take workout classes, learn healthy recipes and get advice from a dietitian. At the end of the challenge, one person will be crowned the champion and win a cash prize.

“I’m from Baxter, and it seemed like a good way to start,” challenge participant, Lindsay Black said. “It’s a good time to support the wellness center. I thought it would be a good way to get fit and lose some pounds.”

Monday evening, 40 community members pushed themselves to the limit by taking a fitness test. They did push-ups and sit-ups, and jogged on the treadmill. Dietitians also measured their current weight and body fat composition.

“You can track how you are progressing,” registrant Shelli Eatwell said.

Eatwell said she was glad she found a fitness program in Baxter. She said the challenge is a great way to get in shape while supporting her community.

“Fifty dollars, for all you get, it’s a win-win. “It’s great that a small community is doing this. I don’t know if there is anything like it anywhere else,” she said. “I plan on sticking through the whole thing.”

The proceeds of the fitness challenge benefit the wellness center.

“(I want to) support the local community. Also, I want to try to be healthier,” Eatwell said. “The older you get, the harder it gets (to get fit).”

Gennypher Popenhagen, president of the Baxter Wellness Center, said the money raised in the challenge will help maintain the center, which is a joint project between the City of Baxter and Baxter Community School District.

“We do this fundraiser, and other (events), to maintain the place, as well as bring in new equipment,” she said. “Also, (we did this challenge) to provide a way to help the community in their fitness training.”

Although registration for the challenge has ended, community members who made a New Year’s resolution to get healthier and gain some muscle can use the exercise equipment at the center at 202 E. State St., free of charge.

“We just got done remodeling it in September. We got $45,000 worth of new equipment. We repainted. We did a lot to that place,” Popenhagen said. “It does not look like the same place if you saw before and after pictures.”

The facility is free to the community weekdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Residents can also gain access to the center from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, by purchasing an extended card for $20.

For more information, call 641-227-3102 or find Baxter Wellness Center on Facebook.

Contact Anthony Victor Reyes at areyes@jaspercountytribune.com

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