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Thousands take Independent Health, Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge

Dec 13, 2015 | Sports Scene

The Independent Health and Buffalo Bills Health & Wellness Challenge continues to inspire Western New Yorkers to become more engaged in their own health and well-being. More than 10,300 individuals – including 3,665 new participants – registered for this fall’s Health & Wellness Challenge, which ran from Oct. 5 through Nov. 15.

As part of the community-wide initiative, participants were challenged to integrate physical activity and good nutrition into their daily lives. They responded by logging at least 10,170 hours of physical activity, while consuming 145,935 servings of fruits and vegetables and 239,440 glasses of water.

Challenge participants were also eligible to win prizes by meeting daily goals and completing challenges for points. Pat Kuras of North Collins was the lucky winner of the grand prize – a trip for four to Hawaii for the NFL all-star festivities on Jan. 31, 2016. The 66-year-old mother of four and grandmother of seven lost 21 pounds during the six-week Challenge by making simple changes to her diet and getting more exercise.

“I cut down on starches, replaced chocolate with fruits, ate veggies from my garden every day and started to really drink water. I have three Cocker Spaniels, so I also made sure to take extra-long walks with them in the morning and evening,” said Kuras, who received a congratulatory phone call from Bills General Manager Doug Whaley for her efforts. “I’m excited that I’ve lost the weight and feel blessed to have been selected as the grand prize winner. My three sons will be going with me to Hawaii and I’ll be wearing my Bills gear proudly.”

Based on the success of the first three Challenges, Independent Health and the Buffalo Bills will be kicking off a fourth effort to help create a “One Healthier Buffalo” in the spring. Until then, participants are encouraged to continue to visit buffalobills.com/thechallenge for new wellness tips and message board updates that will help them stay healthy and motivated.

“We are thrilled that more than 10,000 people have accepted the challenge to adopt healthy habits and achieve a healthier lifestyle,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO, Independent Health. “In partnering with the Buffalo Bills, we have been able to offer the entire community a health and wellness program that is easy, fun and rewarding. While participants may initially sign up in hopes of winning some great prizes, it is improved health and well-being that is the real reward in the end. By taking part in the Health & Wellness Challenge, these individuals are doing their part to help us tackle some of the most important health issues we face in Western New York.”

“Congratulations to the more than 10,000 participants in the third Health & Wellness Challenge. We have seen tremendous growth since the Buffalo Bills and our dedicated partner Independent Health started this initiative in 2014,” said Bills Managing Partner and President Russ Brandon. “It is very rewarding to see so many Western New Yorkers adopt healthy habits and a healthier lifestyle. We feel this program will continue to make a positive impact in our community moving forward.”

How the Health & Wellness Challenge worked

Participants in the Health & Wellness Challenge earned points by meeting three main daily goals:

1)      20 minutes of physical activity a day

2)      Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day

3)      Drink eight glasses of water each day

Participants could also complete one “extra points” challenge each day to gain more chances to win. As an added bonus, participants who referred their friends, family and co-workers earned 10 extra points for each person who registered for the Challenge. Participants kept track of their progress and learned about that day’s “extra points” challenge by logging in at buffalobills.com/thechallenge.

In addition to the grand prize, five participants were selected at random each week to receive a prize, including autographed Bills memorabilia, a one-week stay for two at the Biggest Loser Resort Niagara, a Microsoft Surface Tablet, $500 gift cards to a sporting goods store, $250 gift cards for workout apparel, a $150 gift card to use toward one wearable activity tracker, and $150 Visa gift cards.

The number of points earned throughout the Health & Wellness Challenge determined the number of chances participants had in the weekly and grand prize drawing. To be eligible to win a prize, participants had to be at least 18 years of age and a legal resident of New York State at the time of entry.


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