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The Big Sky State Games is seeking teams to participate in the 2004 "Shape Up Montana" program. The three-month, team-based program is a healthy living campaign that encourages Montanans to make healthier nutrition choices and be more active in a format that resembles the spirit of the Big Sky State Games.

The team competition recognizes achievement in two categories: Weight Loss due to healthy eating and physical activity and Accumulated Activity in the form of miles.

Teams of four to 10 individuals work together for three months (Feb. 11 through May 10) helping each other and their team to either lose weight or log mileage. Mileage is converted from regular daily activities like yard work, housework and aerobic activity like swimming, running, walking, cycling, etc.

The program is focusing on the business community and member organizations to get their employees and members involved. Last year's teams included businesses, church groups, organizations, friends, clubs and schools.

The cost for the three-month program is $10 for Big Sky State Games sponsor employees and $15 for non-BSSG sponsor employees. Everyone who enters will receive a 2004 Big Sky State Games T-shirt, weekly nutrition and physical activity tips, and free entry into the State Games Fitness Walk held July 16 at the 2004 Big Sky State Games in Billings.

The early entry deadline is Jan. 30. Early entries are encouraged to take advantage of the full program. Online registration, entry forms and more information are available at Entry forms are also available at the sponsor locations and the Big Sky State Games office.

The first weigh-in for the weight loss category (entire team steps on scale together) and health fair is Monday, Feb. 9, from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 10, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of the downtown Billings First Interstate Bank (401 N. 31st St.). Teams unable to attend the first weigh-in will have their team captain collect and record individual weights then submit them to the BSSG office by Feb. 11. Participants choosing the accumulated activity category will turn in a monthly activity mile sheet.

The Missoulian is a community sponsor of the Shape Up Montana program. The Big Sky State Games' major sponsors are First Interstate Bank and Kampgrounds of America.

If you're interested

For more information on the Big Sky State Games' Shape Up Montana program, call (406) 254-7426 or visit .

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