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Retirees rise to the Challenge to improve health and wellness

In their first year to take part in the Blue & You Fitness Challenge, the seniors from LifeQuest of Arkansas rocked this year’s competition, placing 6th in the non-profit category and 43rd out of all 74 teams.

The free three-month challenge each spring encourages exercising and making healthier choices. Participants log activities for points that can lead to rewards and better health and fitness. The Challenge is hosted by Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

The team’s involvement was outstanding.

“I was amazed by their enthusiasm,” said Leah Greenfield, executive director of LifeQuest of Arkansas.

“I’m a fitness enthusiast and try to walk 10,000 steps a day anyway,” said Colleen Vollman, a retired accountant. “I thought I might as well get credit for it.”

The team, with 46 LifeQuest members participating for the entire Challenge, amassed 1,428,353 points. That’s an average of 31,053 points per person.

One member, Barbara Kane, was so excited she wrote Leah a letter. “A week into the Blue & You Fitness Challenge, I knew it would be just what I needed… it motivates me to keep moving toward wellness,” Barbara wrote. “I don’t expect to win any medals or trophies. Instead, the prize I want is feeling better, through my health and self-esteem.”

“Everyone did their own thing, but at one point, we planned to walk around the property together,” said June Brown, a retired pharmacist who garnered the most points among the group. The seniors walked, ran, and participated in tai chi, yoga, and pickleball. They earned additional points through daily challenges ranging from drinking eight glasses of water to taking stairs instead of the elevator and learning about nutrition and stress management. “We really enjoyed just being together,” said June. “We need the socialization we get here.”

Registration is now open for the 2024 Blue & You Fitness Challenge. Visit the Challenge website to learn more.

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