Duluth, MN - (Northland's NewsCenter) - St. Louis County has created a program to help its own employees get fit, and stay that way.
For the past nine and a half weeks we have been following two St. Louis County employees who have accepted the fitness challenge and have reached some pretty huge goals.
Over the past nine and a half weeks, 250 county employees have been meeting with personal trainers twice a week to shed the pounds and tone up to a healthier lifestyle.
"It's been great, you can feel yourself getting stronger, healthier...and always in a better mood," says St. Louis County employee, Colleen Effinger.
Since February we've been following St. Louis County employees Cheryl Johnson and Colleen Effinger who decided to take on the Fitness Challenge.
"I've lost weight and yes I do feel toning in parts of it too, but I'm sure a little while down the road here I'll even better," says St. Louis County employee, Cheryl Johnson.
Since Johnson and Effinger started, they have exceeded their initial goals.
"When you're working out, you feel like you're just healthy, I feel so much more healthier then I did before," Johnson says.
"I'm stronger going up the stairs, you're just stronger, you can feel you're stronger when you wake up," says Effinger.
Johnson has even been able to stop going to the doctor because of results she's been seeing.
"I have bursitis in both of my hips and I usually just go to the doctor and get cortisone shots in my hips and I haven't had to do that since I started this and it seems like it's taking care of it," Johnson says.
St. Louis County Health Promotions Coordinator, Tiffany Carlson, says some participants have even lost more than 25 pounds in the past nine weeks.
"It's going great, it's unbelievable, our expectations again have been met as the promoters as well and beyond, it's exceeded our expectations I should say, it's really cool...we're really excited," says Carlson.
And although the program still runs for two and half more weeks...participants are already talking about continuing their workouts well past the finish line.
The Personal Fitness Challenge ends on April 30Th.
Johnson and Effinger are hoping to tone up even more in the next two weeks...we will let you know what the results are as soon as the challenge ends.