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Health challenge kicks fitness into gear

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - We all think we know Health 101 -- eat more vegetables and eat fewer chips. Yet, getting an A+ body still eludes a lot of us.

The Coachella Valley Health Collaborative kicked off its 2013 Health Challenge.
"We use a website that tracks the number of steps. We have mayors from different cities, school board members, we have Cal State, UCR. They're all going to stand up and challenge each other that they're going to do more in the fitness area of health," Coachella Valley Health Collaborative director Gary Jeandron said.

Come October, the winner gets bragging rights at an awards ceremony.

"Some people need a little motivation to get out there and be active. When someone challenges you to something, it helps motivate you to push forward," Tatiana Hinkle of the Desert Recreation District said.

The event started with, of course, a very healthy breakfast, from fruit to yogurt to something people say is the healthiest option - oatmeal. Doctor Stephen Steele continued the food talk -- with the top 10 best and worst foods to eat.

The worst:
10. Chicken pot pie
9. Hot dogs
8. Canned soup
7. Sodas
6. Coffee Drinks
5. Chipotle Mexican Grill Chicken Burrito
4. Quizno's Classic Italian
3. Grande Taco Salad with Taco Beef
2. Ice cream
1. White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

The best:

10. Unsalted nuts
9. Oatmeal
8. Broccoli
7. Avocado
6. Olive oil
5. Fish
4. Legumes
3. Spinach
2. Berries
1. Water

"You have to be active. It's really hard to lose weight by cutting your calories so much without exercising. So you can eat a little bit more if you're exercising," Dr. Stephen Steele, osteopathic family practicioner, said.

"We have great outdoor facilities. Of course our weather makes it ideal to be outside here in the desert," Hinkle said.

With solid tips and strategy, a solid A+ body can be in the books.

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