As part of the process to change her family’s life insurance policies, after the birth of her second child, Annie had her cholesterol tested. The normal range for test values is 200 or less. Annie’s number came back at 246. With a family history of heart disease, she decided it was time to make some changes.
Following a visit to her primary care provider, to confirm the results and check for any other health issues, Annie went for a wellness evaluation at her local fitness facility. The staff helped her create a safe and effective cardio workout plan. In addition to exercise, Annie made changes in her diet which included increasing fruits and vegetables as well as decreasing saturated fats. After four months of hard work, she had lowered her cholesterol to 203.
Structure was the key to Annie staying on track. She enrolled in a class, at her fitness facility, designed to help lower a person’s numbers (e.g., cholesterol, glucose, etc.). This 18-week class combined education, physical activity and lifestyle coaching which helped her create lasting behavior changes.
To stay motivated, Annie adds variety to both her food choices and her physical activity. She also sets short term goals in addition to her long term goals. Recently, she decided to train for a 10K (corresponds to 6.2 miles). To help her train, she set up a program using resources available online.
What advice does Annie have for individuals interested in adopting a healthier lifestyle? “The biggest change that has to happen is in your head. You have to really think it through and decide what it is you want. I've learned that I am in control of my decisions. If you don't enjoy what you’re eating or what you're doing, of course you won't be able to sustain it. But if you create a plan that brings you satisfaction and enjoyment, the benefits far outweigh any negatives. Sure, I have days when I don't want to run. But I'm always glad I did when I am finished. I am really happy when the changes I am making - inside and out - become apparent.