As the obesity rate continues to rise and become a prominent issue in Lee’s Summit, a trio with a passion for fitness and nutrition has come together to make a difference in the community.

Jennifer Brennan

Brad McCleary, Personal Trainer and owner of Bodies Health and Fitness; Jennifer Brennan, Personal Trainer and Recreation Supervisor of Fitness for the City of Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation; and Joe Sherman, Personal Trainer and Recreation Supervisor of Rev Up for the City of Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation, are founders of Shape Up Lee’s Summit.

In August 2016, Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation organized a Roundtable of key stakeholders in Lee’s Summit and the surrounding areas to discuss how to develop an effective community health program. It was apparent that data existed to show health disparities. The disconnect came from a lack of best-practice programs.

As trainers, we couldn’t sit back and do nothing about the research we had discovered. We decided to use the tools and resources we have to take action on something that can have an immediate impact for all ages. We wanted a program that would start making a true measureable difference in the obesity of our community. Our hope was to create another avenue of communication for families at the dinner table by sending similar health messages to the workplace for parents and to schools for youth.

The Mission of Shape Up Lee’s Summit is “to empower our community to get active and make healthy choices by providing education and encouragement!”

Shape Up Lee’s Summit has partnered with Lee’s Summit’s Heath Education Advisory Board, LS CARES, LSR7 schools, and the Chamber of Commerce. Each month Shape Up Lee’s Summit will feature a fitness and nutrition focus along with a challenge that is attainable by anyone regardless of age or ability. We have aligned our monthly themes with the Lee’s Summit Cares “Community of Character” traits. For example, January’s Community of Character trait is “Courage”.

We all know it takes courage to start a new program, to get out of our comfort zone, to make changes. Shape Up Lee’s Summit’s focus for January is to encourage people to just start somewhere. Each month we will also highlight an encouraging success story of an individual or company within the community. This will be a “regular person” or “typical company” that everyone can identify with. We want complete community involvement.

We envision our future to incorporate businesses in Lee’s Summit, as well as each individual school. We would like to recognize a business of the month, then business of the year; even venturing into a school of the month and school of the year. We want to recognize individual and group efforts that will make Lee’s Summit a healthier community.
It is time to make a change! Let’s make Lee’s Summit a healthier community together. You can find our January flyer on Facebook and jumpstart your own journey!
–Stay healthy, Lee’s Summit!

Author Jennifer Brennan is Personal Trainer and Recreation Supervisor of Fitness for the City of Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation. She is a guest author for Lee’s Summit’s Health Education Advisory Board, a Mayor-appointed, volunteer board that promotes and advocates community health by assessing health issues, educating the public and government agencies, developing plans to address health issues, encouraging partnerships and evaluating the outcomes.