Greta Giese, Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center

Greta Giese stands proudly in the main atrium of the Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center in Sheldon. The LLRC will once again be hosting Live Healthy Northwest Iowa 2022.

SHELDON—Live Healthy Northwest Iowa 2022 is right around the corner to help burn off the extra holiday calories or to fulfill an upcoming New Year’s resolution.

The annual event put on by the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center on the campus of Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon starts Jan. 10 and the 10-week weight-loss and activity minutes competition ends March 18.

Teams consist of 2-10 people who are 18 years of age and older. Most of the participants are from N’West Iowa, but people can be from anywhere and still sign up for Live Healthy.

A team captain must be designated and that person will be responsible to get all required information for initial enrollment and ongoing tracking information submitted by the required deadlines.

Teams can sign up for either the weight-loss competition, the activity minutes portion or both.

LLRC director Greta Giese said registration is slow and steady to start but she expected there will be a good uptick after Christmas.

“Usually, Dec. 26 through Jan. 10, that’s when we get the most registrations because they are focused on their New Year’s resolutions,” Giese said. “They feel they need to refocus on healthy habits. One of the ways they can do it is participating. I anticipate the after Christmas and New Year’s rush to form and everyone to get excited for it.”

Anyone wishing to participate can sign up online at, stop by the LLRC or call 712-324-2493. The cost is $39 per individual until the Jan. 10 deadline for LLRC members and $54 per individual for non-LLRC members.

“It’s really important for people to sign up as early as they can and we encourage them to do that so everyone on the team has all of the information,” Giese said. “The earlier they sign up, the more they are prepared. We don’t mind late sign-ups. We encourage everyone to participate. It’s a friendly competition and everyone has the same goal — to start the year the healthiest way they can.”

All participants have to weigh in on the first day, Monday, Jan. 10, at the LLRC in Sheldon. The first time teams can weigh-in are 6-8 a.m. and then again 5-7 p.m.

Weight-loss participants must weigh-in at the initial and final screenings.

“You don’t have to make appointments this year on the first and final days,” Giese said. “You can come in individually to weigh in. We have additional weigh-in dates throughout to check on the progress. We do mini competitions throughout the challenge and there are likely to be prizes around those weigh-ins.

Participants are encouraged to continually track their weight and activity minutes throughout the competition. Each person on the team gets access to the online dashboard.

The grand prizes are $350 for first-place teams in each category — weight-loss and activity — and $200 for the second place team. Teams cannot take first in both categories, however.

There also is a prize for the top individual weight loss and top individual in minutes of activity.

Each participant gets a LLRC punch card with 16 punches.

“They can utilize it at the rec center or use it for participation in our group fitness classes throughout the week,” Giese said.

There are periodic incentives throughout the challenge that involve winning gift cards, small fitness equipment or some swag for hitting goals.

“We try and keep people motivated,” Giese said. “Everyone is working for the major grand prize and it’s fun to have the giveaways for the rest as they try to improve their healthy habits.”

There is a new perk for participants in Live Healthy Northwest Iowa 2022. They can utilize the LLRC’s Fitness on demand.

“It’s hooked up in our aerobics room so you can choose on the kiosk what fitness routine they want and it plays on the big TV,” Giese said. “That service is also offered in an at-home program like on their phone and tablet. We want people to keep up in various ways with their minutes and physical fitness.”

Last year there were 70 total participants on 20 teams. The average weight-loss change per participant was 6.91 pounds. Participants in the activity team averaged 1,249 minutes per person and 31 percent of the participants met the recommended 150 minutes of activity per week.