D&E’s Project Life Change rising to new heights in health

ELKINS – The Davis & Elkins College Sport Science Department is poised to begin the winter session of Project Life Change on Monday, Jan. 28 and help participants rise to new heights in health. Completing its sixth year, the free program is made possible through a grant by the Snowshoe Foundation.

The sessions aimed at helping participants create better, healthier lifestyles is open to all ages. Classes meet from 6-7 p.m. every Monday from Jan. 28 through April 1 in Eshleman Science Center Room 400 on the College campus.

Educational in nature, Project Life Change is led by Chair of the D&E Sport Science Department Dr. Mary Ann DeLuca, Assistant Professor in Sport Science Dr. Jennifer Riggleman and Sport Science Instructor Amanda Larkin. After discussing the national epidemic of obesity, the trio developed the program in 2013 as an effort to help area residents obtain healthier lifestyles. Since then, 305 people ranging in age from 10 to 82 have completed the sessions. In total, participants shed 1,400 pounds.

According to the CDC Obesity Rates and Trend Data, West Virginia now ranks No. 1 in the country for obesity with 38.1 percent of adults placed in the category. West Virginia also has the highest rate of adult diabetes in the nation with 15.2 percent, and the highest rate of hypertension in the nation at 43.5 percent, the report shows.

Project Life Change leaders say their main goal is to help people make smart choices in food selection, lower sugar and sodium intake, and remain active every day. The sessions are designed to encompass all aspects of creating a healthier lifestyle and cover topics such as nutrition, activity and overall wellness education, in addition to pre- and post-assessment of health and wellness. The outcome can help participants combat cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other afflictions that result from obesity.

Participants who enroll and attend weekly will receive membership passes to the Davis & Elkins College Robbins-Madden Fitness Center and George A. Myles Pool as well as the Elkins/Randolph County YMCA, thanks to Executive Director Sid Gillispie. In addition, The McDonnell Center’s indoor Myles Ahead Track, established by Board of Trustees member June Myles, is open for participants to log in steps walking or jogging. Participants who complete the program will receive an InBody scan on the final day of class thanks to a partnership with 1201 CrossFit and owners Scott and Karen Stephenson. Jim Severino, RD, LD, CDE, a clinical dietitian at Davis Medical Center, will also serve as a special speaker.

For more information on Project Life Change or to register, email plc@dewv.edu or call Riggleman at 304-637-1383.

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