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A Journey Worth Taking


Helen Blocker-Adams began what she calls “a healthy lifestyle journey” about 16 months ago, dedicating herself to regular workouts and improving her eating habits. But she quickly found that shedding weight for herself wasn’t enough.

Shortly after she began her new lifestyle regime, Blocker-Adams came across an article in the Augusta Chronicle that reported Georgia ranked No. 2 in the nation for childhood obesity. Shocked by the statistics, she decided to take action.

Luckily, she already had a way to reach young people. Blocker-Adams is the founder of the Unlikely Allies Emerging Leaders Conference, an event held several times throughout the year in Augusta, GA. The conference is designed to help middle and high school students develop leadership and social skills needed to launch future careers.

Knowing that many people in leadership positions incorporate healthy habits into their lifestyle, Blocker-Adams and her team decided to add a health and fitness component to the conference, providing the students with nutrition and fitness skills they can use to lead healthier lives.

“We want them to develop healthy habits from a young age,” Blocker-Adams tells the Inside Track. “So they can develop those early behavioral skills so they don’t have to play catch-up, like I did.”

Blocker-Adams now has her sights on helping the entire Augusta community. She’s the lead organizer of the city’s first childhood obesity awareness 5K run and walk, scheduled to take place on September 14.

Along with the 5K course, the event will feature healthy cooking demonstrations and fitness lessons such as Zumba. A variety of vendors also will be on hand, and inflatable playground equipment will allow kids to have fun while also being active. The local fire department will take part, offering youngsters a chance to explore a real-life fire truck.

“It will be almost like a carnival atmosphere, but it will focus on fitness and nutrition,” Blocker-Adams says. “We’ve just got the community rallied behind this, to make it a fun event.”

Blocker-Adams notes September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness month, making it the perfect time to educate families about the epidemic. Although the issue has gotten significant attention in recent years, many Augusta residents just don’t realize how bad the problem is, Blocker-Adams says.

It can also be hard to begin a healthy lifestyle journey, so it’s important that people connect with those who can offer support and guidance, she adds. Blocker-Adams certainly found she needed support when she first began her lifestyle journey all those months ago.

“It’s that accountability really does help, when you have somebody who is on your case and guiding you,” she recalls. “We think we’re doing the right things… but you really don’t know until you have an expert.”

Click here to connect with Helen Blocker-Adams.