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January 12, 2009

New Year, New You: ULM Spring Melt Down Jan. 26

(Note: This article is the first in a series, “New Year, New You,” aimed at raising awareness of opportunities that could improve the health of residents in northeast Louisiana. An annual report issued in December ranked Louisiana as the unhealthiest state in the nation, citing statistics that 31 percent of its residents were obese, among other key issues.)

For those who greeted 2009 with a goal to get in better shape, the University of Louisiana at Monroe Activity Center may be able to help.

For the fifth year, the center will offer its annual Spring Melt Down, a program designed to provide the campus community and people in the greater Monroe area with easy-to-follow nutritional guidance and physical fitness recommendations to accomplish their individual goals. Participants must be college-age or older and may join either as an individual, or as part of a three-member team.

The eight-week program begins Jan. 26 in the Activity Center Lounge from 4 to 8 p.m. with registration ($5 per person) and an initial weigh-in. Participants will also receive a detailed information packet, sample programs, and other materials.

Points will be tracked through e-mail and will be awarded for positive behaviors such as exercising, eating well and drinking plenty of water. Points are also awarded on the basis of percentage of weight lost and inches lost.

To keep participants motivated, there is a weigh-in midway through the program and a final weigh-in at the end. After the final weigh-in, points will be totaled and winners will be awarded the registration money collected for both the individual and team competitions to those who placed first, second and third.

Through the years, the program has awarded thousands in prize money and helped countless numbers of participants to establish healthier routines – whether their goal was simply to tone up for bikini season or to shed excessive pounds.

According to Ashley Harper, Wellness Program Coordinator, “We’re working hard to provide participants with new information and ideas they haven’t heard or seen before. Many people return to the program year after year, having been pleased with past results.”

“People trusted the information we were giving them, so the program has become very popular and successful through the years,” added Harper. “Because the prize money provides a little extra incentive, the participation has increased each year.”

For more information, contact Harper at: 318-342-5398 or at

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