By Trevor Whitney, Contributing Writer 

The University of Maine at Farmington Fitness and Recreation Center (FRC) recently implemented a ten-week weight loss program, Smart Choices, that focuses on increasing fitness and nutritional education. The program is designed to help people within the community who are dedicated to losing weight and leading healthier lifestyles as well as gaining an understanding of a successful and safe weight management program.

Alison Thayer, Personal Coordinator and Director of the FRC, explained that the program addresses the challenge of weightloss thoroughly. “Most plans only deal with nutrition and not the exercise piece, our program emphasizes both as being important.” Thayer continued, “What’s really important to us is to teach lifestyle changes and somehow convince these people to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.”

The program is broken down into ten different meetings. Meeting one will include a consultation with two trained professionals, as well as a group exercise session. Meetings two through nine consist of 30-45 minutes of health related educational topics, and 45 minutes of independent or group exercise. Meeting ten consists of a final body profile and discussing steps to continue leading a healthier lifestyle.

“I think Smart Choices is a great way to increase health education within the community,” said Courtney Jacques, FRC employee and junior at UMF. “It is an extremely informative program, offered at a great price.”

Smart Choices is available to FRC members at a discounted price of $249, and offered to UMF students at an even lower price of $179. For a non-member the program cost is $299.

“The community will really benefit from this type of program,” said Jacques. “Hopefully it will improve not only participant’s physical health, but overall general health, and lead to a happier, healthier lifestyle.”

Once the Smart Choice member joins they will not only be prepped on living a healthier lifestyle but will also be given an individualized program developed by an FRC Personal Trainer upon completing the ten-week program.

Men 50 and over and women 55 and over must have a physician’s consent before joining the program. The deadline to pay in full has already passed but if you are interested you can go to the FRC front desk and ask to register where you can pay for a session no later than the the Monday prior to the meeting. Each session is limited to only ten participants. A minimum of four participants is required. Meetings will occur every Thursday at 6 p.m.