Group teams with Temple Challenge to get fit

Photo Provided Temple Challenge participants, from left top, are Lee Ann Fragale, Connie Byers, John Stanley, Jean Minard, Marta Bailey and Roger Byers. Bottom row from left are Kelsey DeHaven, Rosanna Miller, Lisa Balderson, Todd Bumgarner, Amy Allen, Thomas Wollard and Wes Allen. Lying down are Stacy Houser and Brandon Fragale.

PARKERSBURG — This past April, Temple Challenge and Wood County Society joined together to promote a common goal: that fitness is possible for anyone.

Temple Challenge entrepreneur Stacy Houser began helping with the annual Wood County Society Telethon two years ago. When she was approached by Brandon Gress, Wood County Society’s executive director, about providing the organization with a fitness program, she knew just what to do.

“Temple Challenge is a very unique fitness program that I knew I could make Wood County Society participants really enjoy,” said Houser. “Temple is 40 minutes of fun, makes a sense of comradery, gives an outlet for other life stresses.”

Every Monday and Thursday from 7-7:40 p.m. families of the Wood County Society meet at the Elite Sports Center in Parkersburg to participate in Temple Challenge.

Not only do individuals who participate in all of the Wood County Society get to participate, but their families are invited and encouraged to join as well.

Photo Provided Stacy Houser and Brandon Fragale at the Parkersburg City Park for a Temple Challenge “Wacky 5K.”

“Wood County Society’s mission continues to grow because of the support we receive in our community. Wood County Society Temple Challenge offers a unique one-on-one experience for individuals and their families. This is another example of how Wood County Society is raising the bar, giving back and investing in our community,” said Gress.

The workouts consist of cardio, strength and core training, flexibility and even boxing, which is a favorite to most Wood County Society Temple Challenge families.

“Wood County Society has established a program for individuals with disabilities that can truly change your health and your life. The workouts are structured, inclusive and supportive every step of the way,” said a participant.

The time is filled with fun music and fellowship while learning about and practicing healthy fitness and life habits.

In the United States, the obesity rate is at an all-time high, along with deaths due to cardiovascular disease, Houser said. West Virginia ranks 49, ahead of only Mississippi, in high obesity rate.

Photo Provided The Temple Challenge group at Camp Echo.

Also, the state of Ohio is not far behind for being the worst in the health conscious states, Houser said.

Both of these rising statistics have a correlation with the physical inactivity also being at an all-time high of 23.5 percent of Americans who do not exercise at all, she said.

One of the goals of Temple Challenge is to raise fitness education and give people of every community the chance to exercise, no matter their age, social economic status, their physical level or abilities, Houser said.

Temple Challenge founder Houser said she understands that fitness is about more than just losing weight. It is more about educating people on the importance of physical activity and showing them that they are capable of more than they know, she said.

In turn, it also brings together communities, impacts families for generations, gives people their health back, and is an outlet for the struggles that one may be facing in life, Houser said.

Houser said the most common excuses for not engaging in a fitness routine are convenience and cost.

“Wood County Society and Temple Challenge tried to make the program extremely affordable for all the participants,” said Houser. “All they need to do is show up and the financial part is accounted for,” said Houser.

Houser hopes the format of the class — a 40-minute workout that targets both cardio and strength-training — will keep people interested and coming back over and over again.

The most important key is that they are having fun and doing something that is now possible in the community, she said.

“One of the best aspects of this program is the ability for anyone to join in our mission in promoting health and wellness with our Temple Challenge Program. I encourage everyone to join in on this amazing opportunity to become a healthier you,” said Gress.

“My vision for Wood County Society Temple is to bring a positive impact to each of the participants lives. That is what will last forever,” said Houser.

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