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Sports complex challenges Prince Georgians to eat healthy

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Published on: Wednesday, October 09, 2013

By Tracey Gold Bennett

More than half of the people living in Prince George’s County are obese, according to Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute statistics. A Landover sports complex aims to combat that statistic with its new “Healthy Eating Challenge” course.

According to data on the HPI website, 69 percent of county residents and 48 percent of children are overweight or obese. In addition, the organization cites that Prince George’s County has higher rates of mobility, morbidity and chronic diseases.

“Obesity in this community and worldwide is at its highest, and we’d like to target obesity and high blood pressure, diabetes with things they can do and choices they can make (to improve their health),” said Cynthia Kelley, events manager at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex.

The Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex, on Sheriff Road in Landover, is available for residents and nonresidents to participate in a variety of activities including swimming, fitness classes, weight training, and use of regulation-size indoor or outdoor tracks. Now, the center is offering a program called the “Healthy Eating Challenge” to help patrons learn healthy eating habits. The classes will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesdays starting Oct. 16 and will include diet and fitness components.

“We’re starting a 30-day healthy challenge,” Kelley said. “We want to help people take better care of themselves though their eating habits and teach them little things they can do at home very inexpensive ways to add good nutrition into their bodies.”

Kelley also said being fit is comprised of 80 percent nutritional choices and 20 percent working out.

“We believe once you change your diet, the weight will automatically come off,” she said.

One small diet change Kelley offered was incorporating a green smoothie into a healthy meal plan.

“The green smoothie is made from frozen mangoes, peaches, strawberries and pineapples and organic spinach blended with a little bit of apple juice. It’s good because you have the fruit, green leafy vegetables and you don’t taste the spinach,” Kelley said. “Your body is getting the protein and energy that your body needs.”

Weight Watchers classes were previously held at the Sports and Learning Complex, and the Healthy Eating Challenge course offers patrons another option.

“Our slogan is ‘Live More Play More’ is what we try to promote and with exercise and eating you live more and you get to play more,” Kelley said.

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