The toughest and most important step in an exercise program, or life in general, is getting started. There are many of excuses for not starting (too tired, too boring, too expensive, not enough time, etc.). According to the Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, more than 60% of Americans are not regularly active and 25% are not active at all. If they are not active exercisers, they generally are not members of a fitness center. This makes up a tremendous target population for programming intended to get inactive sedentary individuals to start an exercise program. I work closely with the corporate leaders of LifeStart to design health and wellness programs that are uniquely tailored to members specific needs. I have been an employee of LifeStart Wellness Network since February 2007. I have played an integral role in the design and organization of their Health and Wellness department. I quickly recognized this organizations potential, and it wasn't long until I was promoted to General Manager and soon after to Regional Manager of our Phoenix area locations. LifeStart has over 40 wellness centers nationwide. It is our mission that separates us from others because we are more than just a convenient fitness facility. Our company is based on creating therapeutic lifestyle changes for each and every member by evaluating their current health status and helping implement lasting changes needed to live a happy, healthy life.
Life presents us with opportunities every day. Many of those days I have seen people shy away from making health a priority in their life. I have dedicated myself to educate individuals and communities in an effort to promote, maintain and improve healthy lifestyles.
AZ Republic; Fit & Inspiring 2005
I was a gymnast and one day I over-rotated a front somersault and hyper-extended my knee. This injury gave me my ‘AH-HA!’ moment. I had to learn ways to train around my injury and then I knew that I wanted to show people the same path.
Demonstration of Success
Successful Promotion starts with successful delivery. Typical corporate fitness programs focus on body fat, strength, or other physical components that don't help the person as a whole. I have succeeded in my company because of their Wellness based approach using the MyStart program. This program amplifies my skills as a certified health and wellness coach, and exercise physiologist. MyStart (mandatory new member integration program) takes the needs of the individual into account and empowers them to make changes on a more personalized basis. I am appreciative for all the individuals who confide in me on a daily basis and become empowered by their lifestyle changes.
Many health professionals really never ask the client/patient what their concerns are, they just simply educate them. I have found that finding out what they really are concerned about makes all the difference and leads to the path of success. Many members feel they are just joining a gym when they walk in, until they start talking to us or another member. This approach really sets us apart from other centers and I feel that I am most successful at implementing this philosophy.
By integrating a four-step process: a questionnaire, a consultation with a coach, activity and re-evaluation each member is provided with step-by-step instructions on how to move through the program. To evaluate the tangible results of behavior modification, each member’s progress is tracked. Every 12 to 16 weeks, members are encouraged to complete a re-evaluation, in which physical changes can be documented and program adjustments and progressions can be administered. If I can help one person, then that one person reaches out to another. As a result, that person becomes a salesman and our corporate membership rates increase over 10% a year based on our MyStart program. I would then develop behavior change programs/workshops on quarterly basis, based off the feedback.
A compelling example of health status, behavior and cultural change would be seen through our 8 week program consisting of (MyStart) pre-post assessments, short intense metabolic training twice a week, nutrition and cardio plans. On average the participants who completed the program lost 5.4 lbs. The average body fat loss was 3.1% body fat. Not only did their overall MyStart score improve dramatically over the 8 weeks, our new member base from this program increased over 30% compared to the 5% with other programs.
The President of the company flies out from Chicago frequently. His passion, drive for the company, constructive feedback, and support to his employee’s helps us to be successful. Camaraderie is always promoted in LifeStart. We collect aggregate reports off of our MyStart program to develop team/individual wellness events for each company. We have weekly newsletters, cardio plans, and recipes to keep members on track with their program. All the managers are all Health Coaches & degreed in Exercise Physiology or similar science minded degree. Our programs encourage weekly weigh-ins and health coach consults. Re-assessment is a key component to our success at the end of the members program.
I lead by example in our members’ fitness endeavors. My clients train for our Climb Phoenix challenge event (53 floors). Likewise, I finished top female 2 years in a row in that event and finished in top 3 females overall in the National Championship Stair climbing event at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas (108 floors). I am an Ironman finisher of the Ford Ironman Arizona 2009.
I surround myself with extremely knowledgeable individuals physical therapists, registered nursed, and business professionals who are very successful at what they do. Their knowledge and experience instill the best in me. I continually stay current on the latest research and trends in my industry through highly creditable resources. I also take part in LifeStart's corporate headquarters annual meetings in Chicago for education training each year.
Advice: “Motivation is what gets you going, Habit is what keeps you going!” Plan and prepare, life’s little guidelines.
We focus on the sedentary population. This is a population that struggles to find time to fit in exercise. LifeStart provides innovative quarterly workshops at no cost for our corporate accounts.
Our Corporate members are provided quarterly wellness programs that are based off their Mystart aggregated results. I create very engaging workshops and 8 week Nutrition programs including Laminated MyPlate place mats, weekly cooking demo’s based on their demographics, and weekly mini-health coaching sessions. We will also offer interoffice biggest loser, pedometer walking challenges and we work collaboratively with insurance companies.
Slowly we will start to see the employer investing back into their in their employees by making healthier choices in their break rooms or offering comprehensive cholesterol screenings, flu shots for their employees. We see an average increase in MyStart score of about 5-10% from our workshops and an average decrease 2.4% in body-fat from our 8 week programs.
The sedentary corporate population has a hard time finding time to exercise with the increasing work demands. This paradigm is not going to change in the near future without a focused approach from fitness leaders. In the next five years we hope to eliminate the most common excuses made by this population, which is not enough time.
In the next five years, members will have access to more health related data through on-site Biometric screenings (MyPath Score). Their MyPath Score will represent data from a full venipuncture blood draw that evaluates 29 different biomarkers. These include use of nicotine, cholesterol, glucose, triglycerides, a basic blood panel & complete blood count. This provides a predictive model of an analysis of the risk for each member. Narrowing down specific root causes for individual health paradigms will create a responsive and efficient model for future care in the wellness industry.