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Upstate Parent is switching things up for the third annual Fit Family Challenge. Rather than featuring spotlight families, we’ve reached out to media personalities who will join the challenge May 1 – June 26. They and their families will work with a team of wellness experts that include Allen Dixon, owner of 9Round’s East Main Street Spartanburg location, and Leah McGrath, the corporate dietitian for Ingles Markets.

You can follow along with them at www.UpstateParent.com and by listening to 103.3 and 95.9 Earth FM WRTH or watching “Your Carolina with Jack and Megan” on WSPA TV.

You can hear Bill Love and Debra Capps weekday mornings 6 – 10 a.m. on 103.3 and 95.9 Earth FM WRTH on the “Love in the Morning” show. An Upstate radio legend, Love and his wife have six children. Capps, an actress who recently starred in the movie “Only God Can,” isn’t yet a mother, but she comes from a large family and is devoted to her nieces and nephews.


“Your Carolina’s” Jack Roper and Megan Heidlberg

Viewers can watch Jack Roper and Megan Heidlberg at 10 a.m. weekdays on WSPA’s “Your Carolina with Jack and Megan,” a local lifestyle show that highlights the best in entertainment, events and organizations from across the Upstate. An Upstate broadcasting legend, Roper is a former weather anchor and the former host of “Kidsizzle with Jack Roper,” which received the Best Children’s Program Award five times from the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. Now a grandfather, he tries to stay active by biking and doing exercises at a cardio center.

Heidlberg, a graduate of Greenville High School, joined Roper as the full-time co-host of “Your Carolina” in 2013. She, her husband, Jeff, and their two young sons are active in sports and play basketball and softball with Buncombe Street United Methodist Church.

Both Roper and Heidlberg hope to use their roles on television to encourage others to join the Fit Family Challenge along with them.

Upstate Parent: What motivated you to take this challenge?

Jack Roper: It will motivate me to exercise. I do try, but I’m excited for having an extra reason to get out there. It’s like when you have a coach and have to show up and turn in something to prove you’re trying. It motivates you enough to show up and feel good about it.

Megan Heidlberg: It’s one of those things where you may think you’re being active and staying active until you write it down and realize, ‘I really haven’t moved a lot this year.’ It’s good to get the whole family involved. It’s hard if it’s one person trying to do it alone, especially if you have little kids. If you start the kids young thinking, “Hey, this is a way of life,” hopefully they’ll go through life always knowing to be active.

UP: What are your goals for this challenge?

JR: I’m a 12-year-old trapped in this body, so I’m ready to go. Aren’t we at epidemic levels for obesity in this country? Around the world, this is laughable. It makes us look like slouches. You might have a goal of loosing some weight, but I think we forget about how important just getting the heart going is. You may not physically see a change in your body from cardio, but it’s a great way to get the heart started.

MH: I’m pretty active, with young kids, chasing them around. I have a trainer that I go to three times a week. I’m looking to do something the other days because — you know what I mean? — the other days I get more slack. This is going to make me be held accountable on those days.

UP: Do you have any words of encouragement for others to join you in the challenge?

MH: Don’t be overwhelmed at first and try to have some huge lofty goal. Just do a little something to start. Start with 30 minutes. Maybe before or after dinner with the kids, it’s lighter outside, so go for a walk. I hear people say, “I don’t have time.” You get one body and one life. I think you can make some time.

» Follow Jack and Megan at www.facebook.com/yourcarolina.

Earth FM’s Bill Love and Debra Capps

Both recognize the importance of being active and eating right and are eager to be Upstate Parent’s 2016 spotlight personalities. They will share their successes and challenges on air and with Upstate Parent as they work toward healthy goals.

Upstate Parent: What motivated you to take this challenge?

Bill Love: I was at a friend’s house and there were two kids there playing a video game. She said to them, “Why don’t you go outside and play?” It was sunny and 70. One of the kids who was visiting the house said, “It’s too hot outside.” I couldn’t believe it. When I was a kid, at 10 o’clock on summer vacation, I had to get outside and play.

Debra Capps: We’re in an era of video games and smartphones, which are awesome, but one of my favorite things to do when I was younger was to climb trees. It was a big deal. Now, you play video games where you pretend to bowl, but you don’t actually bowl. You pretend to play tennis and don’t actually play tennis. This is a great thing to remind all of us that exercise and nutrition is something you want to be learning from when you’re a child. When you get to an adult, it’s much harder to correct those bad habits you develop. Starting young, you’re setting yourself up for an easier life — to be more successful, make better choices, and all of those things.

UP: What are your goals for this challenge?

BL: I would hope our listeners would become more active because once you do it, you’ll feel so much better. I started doing it years ago after I quit smoking. Up until then, I didn’t have any stamina. Mentally, physically, there’s a world of difference in how you feel. I would hope that parents get their kids more active too. That’s one of the big things we’re facing. Kids are not nearly as active as they were.

DC: We should be teaching kids to be healthy and active. Bill leads an active lifestyle. With Earth FM, we do a lot with health and wellness in general. For me, it’s hard to get to the gym. The motivation factor is hard, but once you start doing it, the benefits are so great.

UP: Do you have any words of encouragement for others to join you in the challenge?

DC: I had the best parents in the world. Something my parents always did was, we’d go play tennis together or we’d go swimming at the lake. It was always an activity. My dad would never say, “Oh, let’s just sit and watch TV.” I have a lot of great memories of swimming at the lake or camping and hiking. All of those things shaped my childhood. You can incorporate this not only for the health and wellness, but you’re building memories together. That’s a big deal for kids.

» Follow Bill and Debra at www.facebook.com/love1033.

You can participate!

The third annual Fit Family Challenge, sponsored by Coca-Cola and Upstate Parent, runs May 1 – June 26, and families are invited to participate for free. Signing up is easy and families can earn weekly prizes valued at least $150. A grand-prize family vacation to Universal Orlando Resort will go to one Upstate family at the conclusion of the challenge in June.

The Challenge runs May 1 – June 26. You may register now at www.myfitfamilychallenge.com. The more minutes of activity you log, the greater your chances of winning prizes. Find resources, free fitness and nutrition events, and more information about the Fit Family Challenge at www.UpstateParent.com.

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Watch Megan Heidlberg and Jack Roper of WSPA's "Your Carolina With Jack and Megan" and Bill Love and Debra Capps of "Love in the Morning" on Earth FM tackle Gravitopia's Ninja Warrior Course for the Fit Family Challenge. ANGIE CAMPBELL/Staff

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