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More than 100 local residents accept a 12-week challenge to make themselves healthier




Physical fitness trainer Brandy Cook of Whitesburg, pictured front second from left, is leading more than 100 Letcher County residents who have accepted a 12-week challenge to see who can lose the most weight during a series of workouts at the Letcher County Recreation Center in Whitesburg. The challenge began on New Year’s Day.

Physical fitness trainer Brandy Cook of Whitesburg, pictured front second from left, is leading more than 100 Letcher County residents who have accepted a 12-week challenge to see who can lose the most weight during a series of workouts at the Letcher County Recreation Center in Whitesburg. The challenge began on New Year’s Day.

More than 100 Letcher County residents have accepted a local certified personal trainer’s 12-week challenge to get healthier in 2018.

Brandy Cook, of Whitesburg, created the “New Year New You” challenge as a way to “pay it forward” and help others in her community.

“My initial goal was to get 50 people signed up, and I ended up with 131 and more wanting to sign up that couldn’t make it out (Monday),” said Cook. “How awesome for our small community?”

Ninety participants, ranging in age from teens to 60-plus, attended the kickoff event Monday night at the Letcher County Recreation Center. The turnout was so large that class had to be held in the rec center’s gymnasium. Cook used a microphone to instruct the class while Winston Lee, a local teacher and basketball coach, provided his deejay music services during the hourlong class.

More than 90 people survived the first night and showed up at the rec center for Tuesday’s class.

Cook’s classes follow the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) format in order for attendees to burn the highest amount of calories in the shortest amount of time along with decreasing body fat.

“All classes are modified to fit a beginner, so (there is) no need to be afraid to try any or all classes that are offered,” said Cook.

Several beginners have accepted Cook’s challenge. She said the 12 weeks will a great time to start something new, make new friends and learn in a safe environment how to be a healthier version of yourself.

“It is okay to take time for yourself,” said Cook. “In the end you are a better person for the people you love the most.”

Prizes will be awarded at the end of the challenge.

Cook praised the Letcher County Recreation Center for providing “a safe, family-oriented facility that everyone from small kids to teenagers to adults and senior citizens can enjoy together.”

“ In addition to me, there are two other fitness instructors on hand to help everyone feel better and live healthier lifestyles,” she said.


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