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Healthy Huntsville challenge: ‘Maintain, Don’t Gain’

HUNTSVILLE – All year long you exercise, eat smart, and struggle to maintain your weight and then the holiday season comes along.

It is truly the most wonderful time of the year. But it can be also be difficult to maintain healthy eating habits with holiday parties, family gatherings, and endless rich foods you avoided throughout the year. And, not to mention, gift baskets full of candies and nuts, sweetbreads, pies and cakes.

Then the busyness of the season throws a kink in exercise and workout routines and before you know it, you’re facing a reboot of the same New Year’s resolution that got you through a healthy year.

The “Maintain, Don’t Gain” annual challenge is sponsored by the City of Huntsville and the Huntsville Hospital Health System. Now in its fifth year as part of the city’s Healthy Huntsville initiative, the six-week program begins now.

“This annual program helps us focus on making good choices throughout the holiday season,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “We’ll be able to start 2023 feeling fit and well and not add ‘weight loss’ to our list of New Year’s resolutions.”

In 2021, participants in the program not only maintained their weight, they lowered it with a combined 656 pounds lost.

Huntsville Hospital CEO Jeff Samz is again inviting the community to use exercise and a healthy diet to keep emotional and physical health in top shape.

“There’s nothing more important than your health,” Samz said. “As we welcome the joy of the holiday season, we encourage you to ‘Maintain, Don’t Gain,’ by making smart choices at your holiday celebrations and taking advantage of the Huntsville area’s outstanding recreational opportunities.”

Through Nov. 20, participants can sign up and weigh in at one of several “Maintain, Don’t Gain” registration sites.

Weigh-ins are held at the following recreation centers Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

  • Brahan Spring Recreation Center, 3770 Ivy Avenue
  • Richard Showers Sr. Recreation Center, 4600 Blue Spring Road
  • Fern Bell Recreation Center, 107-A Sanders Road
  • Johnson Legacy Center, 6000 Cecil Fain Drive
  • Mark Russell Recreation Center, 429 Taylor Road
  • Optimist Recreation Center, 703 Oakwood Avenue

Huntsville Hospital wellness centers are hosting weigh-ins Monday–Thursday, 5 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday, 5 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

  • Jones Valley Wellness Center, 1345 Four Mile Post Road
  • Madison Hospital Wellness Center, 8391 U.S. 72
  • Medical Mall Wellness Center, 1963 South Memorial Parkway

Participants will weigh out at the same location the week of Jan. 2. Those who weigh in and out will receive a participation prize and there will also be additional prize drawings for those who meet the challenge.

Healthy Huntsville is a citywide initiative to reduce obesity by promoting healthy eating and active lifestyles. For more information click here.

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