With one year of experience already under his belt and a selection for the 2013 Live Healthy Iowa 10-Week Challenge Dream Team, Newton’s Tyler Kubik is fired up for the new year.
“This was all new to me, this is only my second year in Iowa,” Kubik said of joining LHI’s 100-Day Challenge program in 2012. LHI has since shortened the program to 10 weeks.
“In college, I was more active,” he added. “I played rugby and tried playing racquetball, and now that I have a job, I just sit at my computer all day during the winter.”
In 2012, Kubik’s Department of Transportation office in Marshalltown formed a team to take on the 100-Day Challenge.
“Last year, I joined Anytime Fitness up in Marshalltown and would use the treadmill or lift,” he said. “I joined a gym to be more active, but, for some, it was just getting up from their desks and walking up and down the stairs. A lot of people wanted to quit, but we just kept pushing them. This program keeps you honest and it keeps you motivated.”
Kubik says the people in his office checked in with one another, asking about exercise and keeping a friendly competition going when it came to staying active.
“We’d come in and say to each other, ‘Well, what did you do last night?’” he laughed. “It’s a good competition and a good challenge, but also good support.”
This year, as part of LHI’s Dream Team, Kubik represents one of just 10 Iowans chosen to be featured throughout the 10 weeks. Think of it as an Iowa version of The Biggest Loser but with an emphasis with overall health and a following online instead of TV.
“They picked 10 people from all across the state to kind of spotlight and follow through the 10 weeks,” he said. “I’d done it last year with great success, so I thought, why not?”
The biggest motivation for his application for the Dream Team, however, came along with signing up for a road race in June — a race that spans two states and more than 200 miles.
“This year I’m running a Ragnar race, which has 12 people running legs, and we’ll be running from Madison to Chicago,” he said. Kubik will be running three legs of the race, totaling just under 15 miles over the span of two days.
“This was a big motivation to do the Dream Team,” he explained. “The Y has some 5Ks and different events, so I’ll run those as checkpoints throughout my training.”
In addition, Kubik wants to build on what he accomplished following the 100 Day Challenge last year.
“I’ve maintained my healthy eating habits throughout the year, so I’m really proud of that,” he said. “My wife and I have started eating a lot healthier, and it’s little things — like we’ll make burgers out of turkey instead of beef.”
“The biggest thing I want to take away this year is to stay active afterwards,” he added. “I work in construction so we have a busy season, and in the summer after working all day you just want to come home and lay down, but maybe I’ll take the dogs out for a walk or something small just to keep active.”
Kubik explained that the program works for all levels of health and fitness, as it emphasizes health in an overall sense through increasing activity minutes and encouraging healthy choices in the kitchen, no matter how small they might be.
“You don’t have to jump into it, you don’t have to join a gym,” he said. “Like I said, our secretary just walked up and down the stairs at work a few times a day. Maybe you focus on making healthier choices, whether it’s portion control or eating more fruits and vegetables. Either way, set goals and work toward them.”
Live Healthy Iowa’s 10 Week Challenge begins Jan. 28 and is open to participants of all ages. For more information, or to sign up, visit www.livehealthyiowa.org.
Staff writer Nicole Wiegand may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 422, or at email@example.com.