Are you as healthy as you think you are? Everyone has a different idea of what it means to be healthy. Is it to be free of chronic diseases? Does it imply you can run three miles without distress or is it to be able to enjoy life to the fullest just as you are? We are all unique in our view of what it means to be healthy and we can always grow and learn how to improve and become better versions of ourselves.
The Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been sponsoring a Healthy Lifestyles Class at the Fayette Medical Arts Building 2 on Tuesday evenings from 4-6 for the past 10 weeks. The class is a holistic wellness workshop that embodies the self-determination model. We strive toward the goal of identifying areas in life where we can improve and make positive changes in those areas. Each participant has time to evaluate their current lifestyles and health habits, and create specific goals to improve things one step at a time.
We define a healthy lifestyle by examining five areas of health:
• Emotional Health
• Social Health
• Physical Health
• Spiritual Health/Living One’s Values
• Health through Meaningful Activities
Each person self-evaluates these areas using a learning tool called the Healthy Lifestyles Wheel, based on current social and psychological research as well as participant input.
Guest speakers have shared their journeys toward becoming a better version of themselves and how they got there. Everyone must find what works for them by incorporating activities they enjoy doing. Dr. Hodges, a local MD, shared his weight loss journey and favorite activities, such as eating smaller portions, biking and hiking that have become a routine part of his life.
Chris Conley shared how he has dealt with cerebral palsy his entire life and became a personal trainer at Court House Fitness to help others become strong and confident. He said that his faith in God and encouraging others keeps him motivated to eat healthier and take care of himself.
Shannon Jacobs from Practical Wellness came and taught the group how to enjoy doing yoga in a chair! She is a certified meditation and mindfulness instructor who uses what she teaches others to keep her focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Joni Behrends visited the group one week and shared her weight loss journey to encourage others to start and never give up. She has changed her way of living and has incorporated a ketogenic lifestyle that has helped her lose over 157 pounds! Joni was an encouraging example to everyone in the group; to have hope and to improve their lives with a healthier lifestyle.
Our last session dealt with setting goals and creative ways to deal with stress in our everyday lives. Stephanie Blair, a licensed massage therapist, came and gave a few minutes of relaxing massage therapy to help improve mood and reduce muscle tightness for those who wanted to give it a try.
The group has completed all 10 sessions for this year and will now meet once a month to enjoy some fellowship and encourage one another on the journey toward a healthier lifestyle. We share a healthy snack, stories of our successes, and share ways to boost each other through the struggles. Fayette County has several community resources and supports available to help each person find their own “game plan” to live a healthier version of themselves. We are thankful to the Fayette County Hospital and our guest speakers for contributing to our wellness journeys!
The next 10-week session will begin next spring. Anyone is welcome to join who is interested in improving their health in a supporting and motivating environment! If you would like more information about this program provided by the Fayette County Board of DD, please call Jan Cobb, RN BSN, nurse consultant for the FCBDD at 740-335-1391, ext. 248.