Reboot – or stay on track – with wellness programs

As the threat of the pandemic begins to subside, LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program, has several offerings to help staff and faculty get back on track or maintain their goals of physical fitness and well-being.

Since the start of the pandemic, American adults have reported experiencing unwanted weight changes; among those who gained weight, the average was 29 pounds, according to the American Psychological Association.

“We know fitness and wellness routines have been on the ditch thanks to COVID,” said Julie Joyner, program coordinator for LIVE FOR LIFE, which has been redeployed during the pandemic to manage the coronavirus response, including contact tracing. “Smoking has increased; alcohol consumption increased. If you look at the wellness continuum, we as a community are not going in the right direction. »

In addition to the Duke Fitness Club, Duke Run/Walk Club, and Smoking Cessation Program, the following programs are available with additional activities added if conditions remain safe:

Nutritional consultations

From developing a plan to eat more balanced to navigating food restrictions and preferences, nutrition consultations will help you design an individualized nutrition plan and live your healthiest life.

Consultations are free and can be done in person at the Employee Occupational Health and Wellness Center in the Orange Zone basement of the Duke Clinic, virtually or, in some cases, in your workspace on square.

At the start of each appointment, a dietitian asks for nutritional goals to guide the conversation. After a 24-hour food intake inventory, the dietitian helps you focus on next steps and a plan to achieve goals that could range from eating healthier to losing weight, or navigating new diagnoses of health that require dietary restrictions.

“This department is purely there to take care of you, as part of an employment benefit,” said Esther Granville, nutrition program manager for LIVE FOR LIFE. “We know that if outside of your professional life, if you take care of your body, it will also benefit you and the work you are able to do.”

Depending on the needs, the nutrition staff can bring their expertise to a healthy and nutritious diet adapted to your lifestyle.

“It’s really an opportunity to speak with someone who is very knowledgeable about the science of food and nutrition,” Granville said.

Duke staff and faculty can register for two 60-minute sessions each year, with frequent check-ins possible by phone or email, as needed.

Fitness consultations

New appointments are available for fitness consultations to help staff and faculty achieve their fitness goals, whether they need a reboot or help with advanced or specialized training . Fitness consultations can be scheduled free of charge, as needed.

Typically, employees want to lose weight, lower their blood pressure, or start a new activity, such as getting back into running or getting back into a sport. During each 30-minute consultation, a trained fitness professional helps you assess your fitness level through a series of questions about your current activity to help inform you and design action plans to achieve your goals.

“We are a springboard to enable your own personal health and quality of life improvement,” said Tim Bisantz, fitness program manager. “The goal is to listen and provide help… also to give an extra push and support to achieve current goals.”Fitness Program Manager Tim Bisantz.  Photo courtesy of Tim Bisantz.

For someone who’s been more sedentary during the pandemic but wants to get back to the gym several times a week, fitness specialists will take small steps aimed at getting your body back into the habit of activity, then flex to a formalized plan that would build longer or more intense workouts to accelerate progress.

Live Webinars on Food Matters

Food Matters, 30-minute live presentations led by LIVE FOR LIFE dietitian staff, will resume on April 11 and 25.

On April 11, “Habits that Stick” covers the basics of forming eating habits that can continue beyond the pandemic. You’ll learn basic methods for starting a new habit with food, as well as helpful tips for staying on track.

“We had no liability and had no responsible partners during COVID-19,” Granville said. “That’s what got us thinking about this topic, how people form habits, how people’s schedules have changed, and how do you fit new habits into the schedule.”

On April 25, “Food for Immunity” will help you with an immune-boosting diet and steps you can take to get your immune system working at its best.

“I hope it’s a way to give people ideas,” Granville said. “Sometimes when it comes to food and nutrition, it’s really not rocket science, but when people take part in these programs, it gives them ideas and can help motivate people.”

To stay up to date with all the programs, subscribe to the LIVE FOR LIFE mailing list.

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