Program teaches lifestyle improvements
A program offered through New Hanover Regional Medical Center allows people to make lifestyle changes to improve their health.
The Lifestyle Reset program uses evidence-based practices and is designed to reduce cardiovascular risk, control stress, and re-establish life balance, according to its website.
HOLLY KONRADY (above) is the stress management specialist for the NHRMC intensive cardiac rehab program, using the Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Program. The program has been proven, in some instances, to reverse heart disease by working on four areas of a person’s life: what they eat, how they manage stress, how much they move, and how much love and support they have.
NHRMC picked it up as another program to offer under the roof of cardiac rehab offerings. They created a modified version, the Reset program, in which participants didn’t have to have a heart attack to get in it.
At NHRMC, Konrady works with CALLAN WALL, registered dietitian, and HANNAH FRICK, exercise physiologist, to lead the Lifestyle Reset program.
The trio and physicians IVAN DAVID and TIMOTHY WINSLOW also participate in educational talks on topics such as the science of stress, nutrition basics, benefits of exercise, and myriad other health-related topics.
The program began last winter, and the first cohort of participants finished before the pandemic caused them to stop the offering for a year. The second cohort began in early March. The cohort currently has a maximum capacity of eighteen people to ensure social distancing, and everyone wears a mask.
A new group will start in May.
Participants are initially assessed and then split up into two groups to cycle through the various topics addressed – exercise, stress management, and nutrition. Staff consider things such as how to best meet their needs, including what sorts of equipment they could use for exercise given their health. They’re asked to track their activity and progress. Each week, they do a weigh-in to ensure they’re not losing weight if that isn’t their goal and to measure their loss if it is their goal.
KIM EDWARDS, of Wilmington, heard about the program from her brother-in-law, KEVIN EDWARDS. So, she, her husband, MARK, and Kevin signed up. She says they were at the point in their lives when they wanted to use a “jump-start” to get healthier.
They had known Konrady for years; Kim Edwards had taken aerobics from her some thirty years ago, she says.
“It was a very good, well-rounded class that hit on everything,” Kim Edwards says of Reset.
The stress management portion was particularly useful for her husband and brother-in-law, who own Atlantic Appliance & Hardware. And, while her husband had always exercised and played sports, she didn’t exercise regularly and she says she enjoyed the yoga and meditation.
Kim Edwards says she loves to cook, particularly “good ole’ Southern cooking,” so the cooking sessions were a huge learning curve for her.
“We just really enjoyed it, and it was something we could do together at night,” she says.
The three of them have tried to stick with the healthy improvements they’ve made, too.
Konrady says a wide variety of ages are represented in the groups that have participated. The younger participants in the first cohort appear to be more interested in weight loss, while the older ones had more of a general interest in understanding more about their health.
The participants in the current cohort seem to need more help with stress management, which may be due in part to the pandemic and the changes it’s caused in their lives. And then, there are those who have health conditions they are trying to move past. Most participants have a general interest in health and wellness.
Insurance covers the cost of the program for heart patients. For others, there is a cost for the program, which runs for eight weeks and includes two, two-hour sessions a week.
Konrady says it’s up to individuals to care for their health and well-being.
“You can hire trainers and dieticians, and you can read books and go online and do any number of programs to educate yourself about what might be the best thing for you. But ultimately, it’s your responsibility,” she says. “I know that it’s difficult to make change … that is what stress is, it’s change. And, people typically don’t like to change. This program is a program of change. We’re looking to help you transform yourself.”
To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to michaelclinephoto.com.
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