Legislator encourages state to get fit

Tuesday, February 12th 2008, 7:12 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

A state legislator is trying to help Oklahomans stay healthy.

Rep. Jabar Shumate (D-Tulsa) is authoring a bill that would allow Oklahomans to write off 20 percent of their membership fees to a gym or fitness center.

"We're not the healthiest state," Shumate said. "We're not even close to where we could be or should be in terms of promoting a healthy lifestyle."

Shumate came to the realization after losing 100 pounds during the past 18 months. He also took a closer look at the population of his district and the state, and compared them to neighboring areas.

"We're losing potential opportunities for employers to locate here in Oklahoma because we don't have a healthy workforce," he said.

Michele Taylor, executive director of Downtown YMCA, said she thinks there should be incentives to get people to go to the gym.

"Membership is as big as ever," she said. "We see a lot of people who are interested in learning how to eat and how to work out."