Editor's note: Grant submitted this article several years ago for a "Take the Lake Corner" series of articles. I really like this book he reviews Younger Next Year and it's point of view and easy way of explaining the importance of a consistent exercise program. It "makes sense" and it "doable." As with any new exercise program, consult your physician before beginning.
By GRANT EGLEY, Take the Lake Steering committee
The phrase, “You have to age, but you don’t have to get old,” may not make sense to you, but it is the message of Younger Next Year, a New York Times best seller about health and fitness.
The authors, Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D., say that you can’t turn back time, but you can turn back your biological clock. The secret is to adopt a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise early in life and continuing it for the rest of your life. Do that and you can feel like a 50-year-old when you are 80. The authors’ language is frank, but they want to impress you that your life is at stake.
They say that too many people are dying or becoming disabled at a much too early age. It is not about just living a long life; it is about being healthy and active while living a long life. Vigorous regular exercise, at least brisk walking, is the most important component of an active and healthy lifestyle. They also emphasize that you should not start an exercise program without first checking with a medical doctor.
“Some 70 percent of premature death and aging is lifestyle related. More than 50 percent of all illness and injuries in the last third of your life can be eliminated by changing your lifestyle in the way we suggest,” according to the authors. “Once you pass the age of 50, exercise is no longer optional. You have to exercise or get old. Life is an endurance event. Train for it.”
The book’s take-home message is that most people can be active and productive up to their 80s if they follow a few rules of a healthy lifestyle. Too many people simply do not prepare themselves for a long and healthy life.
This book is mainly for the age 20-50s crowd because they need to start now and prepare themselves for later years. Those over 50 can also benefit from reading the book, but it is difficult for them to break the harmful habit of many years of a sedentary lifestyle.
Lodge says that vigorous regular exercise is very important because it improves the efficiency of our circulatory system. Losing weight, improving endurance and increasing muscle strength are important benefits of exercise, but maintaining an efficient circulatory system is the main benefit. Each one of the billions of cells in our body needs to be supplied with oxygen and food, and to have carbon dioxide and waste products removed. Fine capillaries of the circulatory system provide this service. If the service fails, bad things happen. For example, when tiny coronary arteries servicing heart muscle cells are blocked, we have heart attacks. Lodge says, “Hearts don’t fail; coronary arteries do. They get blocked, they clot, and we die.” Exercise (also proper diet) helps prevent blockage of the circulatory system in general.
Exercise stimulates blood flow throughout our bodies. With regular aerobic exercise, our bodies build new networks of capillaries that service the cells. Lodge says that at rest, only 20 percent of our blood flows through the muscles, but with exercise that number rises to 80 percent in a trained athlete. We all are not trained athletes, but we should similarly benefit to some degree.
We started life with a body capable of being very active for many years. Science now says that in order to keep this capability, we must continue to be active throughout our lives. The sedentary lifestyles of too many of us lack the activity needed to maintain that capability. Regular exercise can fill the void created by the sedentary lifestyle. In other words, exercise can help make up for the lack of a healthy lifestyle.
The above is only a sample of the authors’ statements about the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. It is not a typical how-to-do-it book. Its main message is to start an active lifestyle early in life and continue it because “your life is at stake.” I urge you to take a look at this book.
I stopped Tim and Edna Dowless' shop to take a sneak peek at the 2019 Take the Lake t-shirts. They are super soft and comfy. Check out the women's v-neck design. Youth to adult sizes $12 each and 2XL $13 each. You can order t-shirts online during registration. Soon t-shirts will be available for sale at Body Shapers in Whiteville. We'll announce when the order has been delivered.
Are you ready to Take the Lake? 2019 Registration is OPEN! Use this link to access our new online registration powered by RunSignUp. For the 5K and 1-Mile swim with entry fee, register during June for the "early bird" discount. https://runsignup.com/Race/NC/LakeWaccamaw/TaketheLake
Happy Spring! The Take the Lake Steering committee has been busy making plans for a super fun 2019 Take the Lake event this Labor Day weekend.
We have an updated and refreshed schedule of events we think will be fun for families and dedicated fitness buffs. We hope the schedule accommodates our awesome participants, volunteers, and the LW EMS, LWPD and LWFD, LW City staff and LWSP Rangers that served us so faithfully during Hurricane Florence.
It's a re-building year for many, and the TTL steering committee has a 3-year plan to work our way back to the awesome weekend of fun, fitness challenges and fellowship everyone loves.
Thanks for your support as we introduce in the next two weeks the new and refreshed 2019 Take the Lake. Registration will open June 1, 2019.
Thank you to Tim and Edna Dowless for our new TTL logo design.
The swim will start at Dale's and finish at the Lake Waccamaw dam.
Thank you to everyone who came out this evening to take part in our 2018 Take the Plate festivities.
The personal endurance challenges begin Saturday morning with the Walk/Run. Both the 16 mile and family fun 6.5 mile walks begin at Elizabeth Brinkley Park. Those who have pre-registered for the 16 mile walk can begin any time after 7:15 a.m. The full release start is at 8 a.m. The family fun walk will begin at 8:30 a.m.
Personal endurance challenge event two is the Paddle on Sunday morning. This event begins in the Dale's Seafood parking lot at 8 a.m. We expect this 14 mile event to take between 3 to 6 hours to complete depending on the fitness level of the participant.
Sunday afternoon is time for the Bike events. The 16 mile Bike/Hike that will run through the Lake Waccamaw State Park begins at 2 p.m. at Elizabeth Brinkley Park. The family fun ride begins at 2:30. Remember - a bike helmet is required for both rides. Our course monitors will be removing riders from the course if they are not wearing a helmet.
Monday we celebrate the traditional event that started it all - the Swim across Lake Waccamaw. The 4 mile swim will begin at 8 a.m at either Dale's Seafood or the Lake Waccamaw dam. As wind direction determines the course, please check the Take the Lake Facebook page for start location. Signage will also be posted with direction for the starting point.
Monday also sees the toughest challenge of the weekend. The X-Treme combines all four events and distances into a single day. This event's start is again determined by wind direction and will either be at Dale's Seafood or the Lake Waccamaw dam. Signage will indicate the location. The event begins at 6:30 a.m. and participants must finish by 10 p.m.
Thank you again for being a part of the 10th anniversary Take the Lake event!
Come out to join the fun as we officially kick off Take the Lake weekend with the annual Take the Plate Pasta Supper in the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
Online registration for the 2018 Take the Lake events is closed.
You will still be able to register on site the day of the event.
Thank you for your support of Take the Lake!
We are just 3 1/2 weeks away from Take the Lake weekend.
It is important to remember that even the family events represent personal endurance challenges that require preparation. Make sure that you are taking time on a regular basis to train in the heat to match the conditions of the weekend.
Remember to train for the bike ride wearing a helmet as we require every rider to wear a helmet for the entire bike ride. Although a portion of the full ride will require a dismount to push the bike along a trail in the Lake Waccamaw State Park, the helmet is still required.
As part of our commitment to safety, we will be providing water stations every 2 miles along the route. Volunteers will also be stationed throughout the course to provide support.
We look forward to seeing you at Take the Lake 2018!
Our website issues have been mostly resolved, meaning the time to register is now!
The password protection error message has been eliminated.
If you have any additional problems with the registration process, contact our webmaster - Melissa Hopkins.
As you may have noticed, our website is sending some conflicting messages about schedules for Take the Lake. We are working on converting over to the 2018 dates and information, but have run into some technical complications. This has specifically impacted the opening of registration for the 2018 events.
We truly and deeply apologize for this inconvenience. Please be patient with us.
In the meantime, we will continue to update the blog with details about this year's 10th anniversary celebration encompassing mind, body and spirit!
Also keep up with our preparations through our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/takethelake/.
Our 2018 Take the Lake theme details are coming soon, along with several changes to the site.
In the meantime, we can let you know that the 2018 events will again take place over Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 1 -3, 2018 here in Lake Waccamaw.
There is a lot of excitement building within the planning committee as this year's theme comes together. Any guesses as to what it will be as we celebrate our 10th anniversary?
The annual Take the Plate event is this Friday from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. in the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. This special event is for Take the Lake participants and spectators alike. Donations will be accepted with proceeds going to the church and a health related mission project. Honoring the health professionals theme, there will be commentary by Terrie Priest and Kim Smith. T-shirts and water bottles will be available for purchase.
Online registration for the Take the Lake 2017 events is closed. We had 324 individuals register for the traditional PECs plus three individuals taking on the X-Treme!
If you didn't complete the online registrations in time, there will be on-site registration for each of the events during the weekend. Please arrive a little earlier to get through the registration process. See the schedule in the post below.
We are just over two weeks away from the 2017 Take the Lake festivities. As we prepare for the weekend, check out the schedule all in one place!
Friday, Sept. 1 - Take the Plate Pasta Supper - 5 - 7:30 p.m. - Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church
This special meal is for anyone in town for the weekend, not just the event participants. This year will honor the Health Provider theme with comments by Terrie Priest and Kim Smith representing the Columbus Regional Health System and the Health Department respectively. Donations will be accepted, with proceeds going to support the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church and a health related mission project.
Saturday, Sept. 2 - Elizabeth Brinkley Park
Sunday, Sept. 3
Dale's Seafood Lake Front
Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4 - Dale's Seafood Lake Front or Dam (Site to be determined)
We still have a couple weeks of pre-registration time before the August 25th online deadline.
Our numbers are growing daily and the excitement is building.
Banners are going up around Columbus County as the event moves closer.
Make plans now to join the fun and make sure you are registered for the events you are most excited about.
Lake Time Vintiques in Lake Waccamaw has joined the Take the Lake team as a T-shirt selling location. Modeling the 2017 shirts are clockwise from left Melissa Hopkins, Lake Time Vintiques Owner Marie Ganey, Donna Scott, Julie Stocks, Piper Hopkins, Amelia Hopkins and Lorelei Hopkins.
We are truly excited that the Take the Plate tradition will continue this year thanks to the Lake Waccamaw United Methodist Church. Make plans to come out to mingle with fellow participants and members of the community.
Both the 16 Mile Bike & Hike and the Family Bike Ride require the use of helmets.
While there are many locations to pick up helmets, we want to make sure you are aware of the Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina's Country Store. The helmets come in a variety of colors and sizes at a reasonable price.
The 2017 Take the Lake T-Shirts honoring health professionals are now available for purchase!
There are two locations for purchase. The first is Body Shapers in Whiteville, where several members of the planning committee got together to model the shirts. They are clockwise from front left, Chet Sechrest, Julie Stocks, Walter Palmer, Jeff Faulk, Coburn Powell, Grant Egley, Donna Egley and Stuart Rogers.
Shirts are also available at Lake Time Vintiques in Lake Waccamaw.
Lake Waccamaw, NC – The challenge of swimming across Lake Waccamaw is something that served as a rite of passage for generations. It was in the 1940s that Lee J. Greer formalized the process, encouraging hundreds of youth and adults to take on the challenge every Labor Day.
“I’m much more of a walker,” said Grant Egley, who in 2000 started holding annual walks around the lake that same weekend. “I wanted to help encourage more activity around the Lake.”
In 2008, in part to address the low health rating of the county, a pilot event was organized with paddling and cycling added to the events.
“We knew we had a beautiful setting and a natural course that would take advantage of that setting,” said Julie Stocks, chair of the Take the Lake steering committee. “We wanted to provide a personal endurance challenge that would allow anyone who was interested to ‘take the lake.’”
The distances vary for each of the events. Both the walk/run and the bike and hike are 16 miles. The paddle event is 14 miles and the swim is 4 miles.
For the already fit members of the community, the challenge of the weekend’s events was a significant challenge.
“The thing was, we wanted to continue to expand the reach to those who might not be as far along on their personal fitness journey,” said Stocks.
Over the past three years, a shorter walk and bike ride have been added to the event options. Each of these events are 6.2 miles.
“These family events are used to encourage those who might not be ready for a 16 mile challenge to take those first steps,” said Stocks. “We have seen an increase in the number of children taking part and bringing their parents along for the ride.”
The event, now in its eighth year, is still free for participants, although T-shirts and water bottles are available for purchase.
“We don’t want to prevent anyone from participating,” said Stocks. “We don’t need any additional barriers for people’s health. That is why there is no entry fee for the individual events on Labor Day Weekend.”
Those who truly want to challenge themselves do have the opportunity on Labor Day to participate in the X-Treme, where they participate in the swim, bike and hike, paddle and run/walk in a single day.
“The money we charge for the X-Treme, and the money from sales of the T-shirts and water bottles and any sponsorships, all go into putting on the event,” said Stocks. “We’re not a fundraiser. We’re not a race. We are a challenge. We simply place a goal in front of ordinary people to motivate them to do something extraordinary.”
While the official Take the Lake events are Labor Day Weekend, it isn’t a one weekend event. To truly enjoy participating, training must take place throughout the summer.
“Training, especially in a group of family or friends, provides an opportunity for bonding and engagement not easily achieved in today’s high speed, technology driven world,” Stocks said. “That said, technology is often used to track the progress of the training in a way that makes it fun for the participants.”
For those already fit members of the community, Take the Lake may not seem like an activity that makes sense for them to participate in.
“Like Lee Greer, we believe that inspired people do inspiring things,” Stocks said. “We see one person participate in Take the Lake and the next year they bring their friends, family and even coworkers. We would love to see some of our fittest members of the community pairing with a friend or family member who isn’t as fit. There is something energizing about sharing in physical activity with others.”
For more information about the 2017 Take the Lake, visit www.takethelake.org or call 910-641-1071.
As we get close to our 10th Take the Lake season,* it's fun to look back on the fun we've had, and the Take the Lake committee, volunteers, Lake residents and participants have had great fun with our different themes each year!
Begun in 2011, we have chosen themes to "tip our hats" to special groups of people, and also to give them a little extra motivation. We started with military veterans, and we have shared our fun with many groups of great people ever since.
Take a fun stroll through the TTL years, right here!
* 2008 - Pilot event, with about 100 people participating in all four PECs
2009 - First official Take the Lake
2011 - First Take the Lake with themes
2018 - The 10th Take the Lake Training Season!
Take the Lake would not be possible without our generous sponsors. Thank you for supporting fitness and good health in our community!
Columbus Regional Healthcare
The John A. McNeill Family
Baldwin Woods Gynecology ATMC
Council Tool Company
Friends of Rube McCrae Memorial Library
Southeastern Comm. College
Baldwin Woods Pharmacy
Columbus Cty Health Dept
Dale's Seafood Restaurant
Powell and Powell Law
Sam’s Pit Stop
Southern Veterinary Hospital
Special Service Sponsors
Body Shapers Fitness Center
Herald's Office Supplies
Lake Time Vintiques
The News Reporter
Take a few minutes and reel through the years of Take the Lake, as we review the many themes and posters that have helped make fitness more fun in Columbus County! Click here
After spending several years at the very bottom of the County Health Ranking -- as the least healthy county in all of North Carolina -- we have improved our lifestyles enough to move up to 96, and we are proud to be so healthy!
Look at this!
The Weigh We Were - Photos and stories of people who have lost 100 lbs or more -- incredible and inspiring!
DID YOU KNOW...
that the second-most-popular Boy Scout merit badge in the U.S. is for Swimming? And the ninth-most-popular is Personal Fitness? Yes!
Six girls complete
all four PECs.
Are you ready?
movies -- please!
Visit our Sponsor Page, or Contact us if you would like to be a part of the largest community fitness event in Columbus County!