Baton Rouge --- Registration is now open for the Lighten Up Louisiana statewide competition for 2007.  The overwhelmingly successful program encourages Louisiana citizens to get healthy by focusing on making better food choices and increasing physical activity.  This time around, both the adult and kids’ versions will run at the same time.  In addition, individuals as well as teams can now join the competition.

“We felt this was a great time to bring back the program,” said Rudy Macklin, director of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.  “Many people are making resolutions to get in shape, and there were some incredible success stories from the last competition.”

This year’s version, which is sponsored by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and, will run through June 17 (Lighten Up Kids ends May 17).  For the adult version, individuals or teams of two to 10 people comprised of friends, family or co-workers can join the competition.  Participants can sign up for either the fitness or weight loss competitions, or can choose to do both. 

For the fitness competition, participants log the number of activity miles they earn by walking or running.  A revised conversion chart for this year’s competition allows participants to earn miles for a variety of other activities.  The team that logs the most collective activity miles wins the fitness competition.

The winner of the healthy weight loss competition will be the team that loses the highest percentage of weight during the four months of the program.  Team weights will be reported at the starting point, midpoint (March 17) and at the conclusion of the competition. 

Kids can join the Lighten Up Louisiana Kids program in groups of 10 – 30 led by an adult team captain.  Members earn miles by doing activities such as jumping rope, skateboarding and playing team sports.  Even participating in physical education class earns miles.  Teams can consist of students from school classes, members of 4-H clubs, after-school programs, church youth groups, scout troops, and even brothers and sisters. Participants must be 17 years old or younger.   

“I want to encourage all of those who participated in the previous Lighten Up competitions to sign up again,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise.  “And for those who didn’t, I hope that you will take this opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle.”

For more information on the Lighten Up Louisiana program, please visit