Beginning Jan. 28, 2013 teams of two to 10 people are being encouraged to increase and track their activity minutes and/or weight loss.
The program would continue through April 5, 2013.
The 10-week wellness challenge is part of the Live Health Iowa program to improve the life expectancy of Iowans which places the state 42nd in the United States.
Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel encouraged the Le Mars City Council to promote the wellness initiative after he attended meetings locally.
The number of Plymouth County participants who joined the grassroots effort for the 10-week Wellness Challenge through Live Healthy Iowa diminished last year, according to a state coordinator.
Langel said that's changing now.
"Live Healthy Iowa is going forward," Langel said. "We met with the school districts, the city, Floyd Valley Hospital and ISU Extension and Outreach."
He said people who would like to form teams for the 10-week challenge may contact him at Le Mars City Hall, Todd Lancaster at the Le Mars YMCA, Kari Daale at Floyd Valley Hospital or Carol Schneider at Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach.
Schneider said on a statewide basis, Extension is one of the partners of Live Healthy Iowa and the 10-week challenge.
"I felt it was important that our county Extension office and our local outreach office support a local effort," Schneider said.
Schneider, the county's Extension coordinator, has been involved with the program every year it's taken place.
Families could consider the program and serve as a built-in support group to becoming more active and improving eating habits, according to Schneider.
"As a family you can then decide on some alternatives for snacks such as a piece of fruit instead of a bowl of ice cream," she said.
A family could also decide to be involved in a recreational activity such as bowling or indoor swimming rather than watching a movie, Schneider suggested.
Family meals are an ideal time for families to support one another, according to the county Extension coordinator.
"Not only just having a meal together and talking about the day but in choosing what is nutritious to eat for a family meal," Schneider said.
She also suggested people watch a YouTube video, "23 1/2 Hours."
"You really feel inspired because the bottom line is you have 23 1/2 hours to do other things; you have a half hour to do something to improve your health, and, maybe change your life," Schneider said.
Locally, organizers hope 10 percent of the county's residents or 2,400 people, will become part of the teams increasing their exercise and improving eating habits beginning Jan. 28, 2013, according to a press release.
People may get more information at livehealthyiowa.org.
Online registration at a cost of $20 per team member began December 19.
To join the Plymouth County challenge, people are asked to use the Group ID: LHIPLYCO, which is requested in the registration process.
Hy-Vee is a corporate sponsor and provides 40,000 $5 discount coupons while supplies last, which would reduce the cost per team member to $15, the press release stated.
Discount coupons are available at www.Hy-vee.com or locally at Hy-Vee.
The coupon contains a promotional code to use as people register and pay online.