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Koons Biggest Loser Challenge 2014 is under way!

Biggest_loser

Collectively, Americans gain over 300 million pounds around the holidays. That is the equivalent of 838 jumbo jets!  It gets worse, of those pounds gained at least one of them will be a persistent pound.  Put another way, if the average American adult consistently gains one pound per year, and does not change anything about their habits, they will be at least 55 pounds overweight by age 75!

We care about all of our employees and we want to help them achieve their goals, our Biggest Loser Challenge is there to do just that” stated Mr. O’Connell

For 4 years, Koons has been one of the Washington Business Journals Best Companies to Work For.  Why? Because, there is a pervasive atmosphere of caring.  Here is one example: Every New Year, Koons Management runs an Annual Biggest Loser Challenge for its employees.  All Koons employees are eligible to take part in the challenge but are not required to.  Jim O’Connell, President of the Koons management team has made it very clear that this program is to promote good life habits and healthy choices. It is about being aware of what you eat, how that affects your health, and eventually how your health affects your co-workers.  “We care about all of our employees and we want to help them achieve their goals, our Biggest Loser Challenge is there to do just that” stated Mr. O’Connell.

We are all familiar with the routine by now, on January 1st we all make BIG pronouncements about how we’re going to change, get rid of a habit, adopt new ideas, and be a better person!  There are all kinds of resolutions, but there is a consistent 3 that seem to always make the list year over year.  For every 100 people who make New Year’s Resolutions here’s how the top 3 break down:

  1. 62% vow to exercise more
  2. 60% promise to eat better
  3. 46% state their goal is to lose weight

By the end of week 7, only 60 people of the original 100 of any given resolution will be left trying to stick with it, and by the end of week 12 there will only be about 30.  For the past 4 years Koons Biggest Loser Challenge (#KoonsBLC) has been trying to help all of those employees who commit to losing weight attain their goal.  So when they hit week 7, they have a reason to keep going, they have others on their team to encourage them and they have incentives.  Everybody needs motivators, a light at the end of the tunnel to keep them going; in this case, it is prizes!  This year’s challenge runs from January 6th to April 7th and the grand prize is a 2014 Corvette!

There are other prizes and incentives, and like every challenge there are rules that have to be followed but ultimately we all win.  It may sound sappy and mellow dramatic but it is true and it is what makes Koons Automotive such a great place to work.  Over the next few months we will be posting our progress here in this blog so come back and see how it is going.  This year we have 729 employees taking up the challenge and we will report on the total amount of pounds lost and the total number of employees who finish.  We wish them all luck and the best of health!

#Fitness Friday: Koons “Biggest Loser” Challenge Results!

Happy #Fitness Friday,

Drumroll, please! After 13 weeks of blood, literal sweat and tears, the Koons “Biggest Loser” challenge has come to a close. Every Koons employee who participated in the challenge did an outstanding job! Before we get to the winners, here are some brief – but outstanding – statistics from the challenge:

  • Overall contest spanned 13 weeks
  • 474 Koons employees participated
  • Average weight loss of all participants: 6.25% of body weight
  • Combined weight loss of the organization: 5,603.10 POUNDS!!
  • Our ‘biggest loser’ lost 79.1 pounds and our largest percent of weight loss was 25.87%
  • Our winning dealership team had 29 contestants with an average of 14.04% weight loss and a total of 957.30 pounds!

We couldn’t be more proud of all the participants in the challenge – they did a great job and the hard work paid off. Now, for the winners…

  • Congratulations to Koons Baltimore Ford for being the #1 team for highest % of Weight Loss
  • Congratulations to Mike Victor from Baltimore Ford for being the #1 weight loss winner at 25.87% Weight Loss!
  • The runner’s-up include Rick Kirchhausen, Dano Pasaretti, Julian Golmakani and Blake Young to round out the Top 5

Members of the Koons "Biggest Loser" Challenge

We definitely can say this challenge was a HUGE success! It not only rallied the entire Koons team around a healthy cause, but it also made our organization healthier in the process. As we all know, healthy lifestyle choices are a lifelong initiative that require daily maintenance! But, in the end, will allow us to live longer – and healthier – lives.

Here’s to a happy and healthy rest of 2012!

-KK

Final Koons "Biggest Loser" Challenge Statistics

#FitnessFriday: Tips To Get You Moving!

Photo courtesy of the USDA
We know it can be hard to get energized right out of bed. But your daily commute doesn’t have to be a drag and you definitely don’t have to walk through the day like a zombie. To help you get moving, we’ve listed out some tips to help you through your day.
  1. Start your day with breakfast.
    Breakfast fills your “empty tank” to get you going after a long night without food. And it can help you do better in school. Easy-to-prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt with fruit, whole-grain waffles or even last night’s pizza!
  2. Get Moving!
    It’s easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine. Walk, bike or jog to see friends. Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV. Climb stairs instead of taking an escalator or elevator. Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes every day.
  3. Snack smart.
    Snacks are a great way to refuel. Choose snacks from different food groups – a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or some dry cereal. If you eat smart at other meals, cookies, chips and candy are OK for occasional snacking.
  4. Balance your food choices – don’t eat too much of any one thing.
    You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, french fries and ice cream to eat healthy. You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat. Your body needs nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fat and many different vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C and A, iron and calcium from a variety of foods. Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you get all these nutrients.
  5. Eat more grains, fruits and vegetables.
    These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals and fiber. Besides, they taste good! Try breads such as whole-wheat, bagels and pita. Spaghetti and oatmeal are also in the grain group.
    Bananas, strawberries and melons are some great tasting fruits. Try vegetables raw, on a sandwich or salad.
  6. Foods aren’t good or bad.
    A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part — or food — is different. Some foods may have more fat, sugar or salt while others may have more vitamins or fiber. There is a place for all these foods. What makes a diet good or bad is how foods fit together. Balancing your choices is important. Fit in a higher-fat food, like pepperoni pizza, at dinner by choosing lower-fat foods at other meals. And don’t forget about moderation. If two pieces of pizza fill you up, you don’t need a third.

Be Healthy! Be Happy!

-TK

Fitness Friday: Mind Over Munchies

Photo courtesy of the Food & Drug Administration

Tempted to dive head first into your plate when stress hits the fan?

Try this: Visualize your negative thoughts riding by on a conveyor belt. Label each one “5-K tomorrow” or “First Date Jitters!”, then imagine it chugging off into oblivion. Research subjects at Temple University’s Center for Obesity Research and Education say this method of chunking has helped them avoid emotional eating.

Did you also know that if you eat slowly, you’ll probably eat less? This the finding from a recent report from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. People who lingered over ice cream for 30 minutes produced more of two hormones that signal fullness than those who ate the same amount in 5 minutes.

“Eating slowly lets food interact longer with the intestinal cells that produce these hormones,” says lead study author Alexander Kokkinos, M.D., Ph.D. Put the brakes on speed eating by avoiding dining distractions (like the T.V.) and focusing on food.

So just remember, it’s all a matter of mind over munchies. Put your mind to it, you can do it!

Be Happy, Be Healthy!

-TK

Fitness Friday: Lose That Belly In 2 Weeks

Abs are built in the kitchen. How much we weigh, very much depends on what we eat.

Instead of three large meals, break your daily routine into 5-6 smaller ones. Remember the aim is to provide your body with just enough calories for what it needs. Eating a large meal will leave your body flushed with more calories than it actually needs. It’ll also slow down your metabolism, which is why many people go to sleep after a heavy meal.

Don’t skip meals. Starving yourself is the worst possible way to lose weight. Your body will fight back by holding on to the fat that it already has. Do not forget to eat breakfast. An early breakfast is the best way to kick-start your metabolism. Eating breakfast will also ensure that you have enough energy during the day. Statistics show that most people who skip breakfast end up overeating later on in the day.

Quick Food Guide:

Proteins: The human body burns more energy processing proteins than it does processing carbs and fat. That’s why diets high in protein work great for burning your belly fat. You can add lean meat, fish, poultry and nuts such as almonds into your daily routine to truly benefit from these important nutrients and lose weight. 

Vegetables & Fruits: Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and nutrients. They make us feel fuller and reduce our food cravings. Try to eat vegetables and fruits that are unprocessed. Canned food can have additives which can cause weight gain unknowingly.

Fats: Stay away from trans-fats present in products like margarine. You can substitute butter for olive oil or fish oil, which are lighter and healthier. You can also go for low-fat versions of dairy products such as skimmed milk and cottage cheese to reduce fat in your diet.

 Carbs: Avoid potatoes, pasta, white bread and rice. You can always adopt their unprocessed healthier versions such Brown rice, oats, whole grain pasta, quinoa. This way you can keep can not only reduce fat but also keep it fat at a distance in the future too.

Water: No article on weight loss would be complete without water being mentioned. Water helps to take away the toxins from the body. It increases the metabolic rate of your body which, boosts fat loss from the belly area and other parts as well.

Be Happy, Be Healthy!

-TK