SIKESTON -- Looking for a way to make it through the holidays without expanding your waistline? ReStart's Shape Up Sikeston! may be just what you need.
Missouri Delta Medical Center's ReStart held the first Shape Up Sikeston! competitive exercise program last year from Dec. 1, 2004, through Feb. 1.
This year's competition begins Dec. 5 with a kick-off event scheduled for Dec. 2 at ReStart.
"Around Thanksgiving and Christmas is usually when people put on more weight. We're trying to keep it off," said Shauna Eby of ReStart, who is running this year's event along with Amy Gordin, ReStart's director of rehabilitation services.
Exercise also elevates chemicals that help prevent depression and relieves stress - both of which are more common during the holiday season.
While the short-term goal is burning off the extra holiday calories, ReStart staff hope exercising daily becomes a habit for participants in the long run.
"There are some team members that started doing Shape Up Sikeston! last year and they're still working out this year," Eby said.
Nearly 40 teams participated in last year's competition with team Excess Energy taking first place, the City Haulers placing second and the Shape Shifters capturing third.
The contest is geared toward adults and open to anyone age 18 or older who wants to get in shape and get healthier. "Last year it was more for businesses and corporations but this year we want to encourage more families and groups of friends," Eby said.
Lessons learned from the first competition are being used to make this year's contest even better, according to Eby.
"This year participants do get one day off per week, so that gives them a little bit of a break," she said. Participants pick their day off but can only get credit for six days of working out in a week. The workout week will begin Monday and end Sunday.
Individuals are limited to a maximum of 20 points per day.
"They can earn points by doing different physical activities - yoga, pilates, spinning, walking, running, jogging - each activity has a different point value," Eby explained. "The maximum you can get for one activity is 10 points so you'll have to do more than one activity each day - you can't just max out on one activity that you do."
Unlike last year, team sizes were also standardized for this year's competition.
"Shape Up Sikeston! this year is going to be teams of five," Eby said. "Last year it was as many people as you wanted. This year it has to be five people per team."
Teams are again encouraged to come up with unique names. "The more creative the better," Eby said.
The cost for a business to sponsor the event this year is $100. "Their logo will get put on the back of everyone's T-shirt," Eby said. The $100 sponsorship will also cover the entry fee for one team.
"The team with the most points at the end is the winner," Eby said. "We're going to have first, second and third place prizes."
Additional prizes for things like "most improved" may be awarded as well. "That is all depending on our sponsors," she said. "It is a non-profit event - the funds are used for the prizes. The more sponsors we get the bigger prizes we'll get to have."
Registration is now open. Teams need to be registered by 5 p.m. Nov. 22. The cost to register is $10 per team member or $50 per team. "They all get Shape Up Sikeston! T-shirts," Eby said.
Participants can pick up their T-shirts and competition packets at the kick-off event. Weigh-ins and body fat composition tests will also be available before and after the competition, according to Eby.
Eby said she plans to release weekly updates on team standings to provide additional motivation for teams.
The last day to get points will be Jan. 29. "Everything will need to be turned in by noon Monday the 30th," Eby said.
Those who wish to participate should check with their physician to determine what program best fits their current level of fitness before beginning any exercise.
For more information contact Eby at 472-7375.