As the Daily Herald's fifth Fittest Loser Challenge is set to kick off, 23 five-member teams representing 17 area park districts are set to join in the competition.
This year more than 100 participants from local park districts will take part in a weight-loss challenge at the same time six contestants work with personal trainers at Push Fitness in Schaumburg. The community component of the contest is new this year.
In the new Fittest Loser Community Challenge, the park district teams face off to lose the most weight to win individual prizes, as well as a scholarship to their local park district fitness center.
Each team consists of five members and is led by a team captain. Each team implements their own plan to reach their weight-loss goals during the 12-week challenge.
This week, each of the participants in the Fittest Loser Community Challenge receive a free health screening and complete an initial weigh-in at the Daily Herald Office Center in Arlington Heights.
Registered nurses from Alexian Brothers Health System provide an osteoporosis screening, blood pressure check, cholesterol and body fat tests, as well as a stroke risk assessment for each contestant. The Academy for Athletic Advancement weighs in each contestant in order to calculate the total starting weight for each team.
The contestants will repeat these tests at a final health screening and weigh-in late in April. At that point, they will be able to evaluate the overall improvement to their health.
The winner of the Community Challenge will be announced, along with the winner of the Fittest Loser Challenge, at the celebration event on May 1.