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Gain It to Lose It: Baptist Memorial Healthcare Hosts Wellness Program

Every New Year, resolutions are set to lose weight. Rather than focusing on becoming less this year, focus on gaining — healthy habits, that is.

There are many organizations in Memphis that want to improve the well-being of Memphians. Baptist Memorial Health Care is one of those organizations. In September, Baptist hosted two free wellness programs that incorporate exercise and nutrition education. The programs took place in downtown and Midtown Memphis, with participants from all around the city. Held in a group setting, the program challenged participants to set realistic goals. Additionally, the group setting cultivated an environment that allowed everyone to grow and learn from one another.

Working with groups on weight loss is always a great experience for everyone,” said Erica Ford, health educator. “I’ve found that individuals working in groups have better results because they have a peer to keep them motivated.”

Ford works with participants in the Baptist wellness program Renew. Renew is a 10-week program that combines exercise and nutrition or 90-minutes once a week. In September the program took place at the Fogelman YMCA. Ford coached a group of 10 participants to lose more than 40 pounds.

If an individual sticks with the program, they will be able to reach their goals of weight loss or whatever they are trying to achieve,” she said. “It’s a win-win situation, but you have to work for it.” Another Baptist wellness program produced similar results with families at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Midtown. The program, Club Get Fit, is a 10-week program for families with children in grades 1-5 that combines nutrition education and exercise at each 90-minute session.

There is no magic pill for weight loss,” said Robin Wallace, health educator. “You have to establish healthy habits including eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. These habits must be sustainable the rest of your life.”

Wallace and fitness instructor, Cecilia Garcia, led the class. As a result of the 10-week program, the group of nine lost more than 30 pounds. “I like to stress that it’s all about small steps to make big changes. Each goal helps build habits leading to a healthier life,” said Wallace. “Focusing on small, achievable goals helps build confidence and success, rather than trying to change everything at one time. I love seeing how excited participants get when they lose their first few pounds.”

With an array of health organizations in Memphis, it is possible to pick up healthy behaviors and leave bad behaviors behind this year. Baptist Memorial Health Care, in conjunction with the State of Tennessee, has a lot of free wellness programs available to Tennessee residents. If an individual has a goal of increasing their health knowledge, then a healthier 2016 is possible.

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