A great question you may have pertaining to the pursuit of a Healthy Lifestyle is: How Do I Get Started? To assist our Great Faculty/Staff started the PCC Wellness Program incorporates a Four-Step process to empower PCC Faculty/Staff to connect with ongoing Wellness Offerings and Opportunities to encourage and help them to actively pursue a Healthy Lifestyle.
2) Creating a Starting Point Based on Your Current Fitness Levels and Measures: Where to Start?
In addition to making sure you understand if you are medically clear to begin an exercise/physical activity program you will want to assess the variety of your current fitness measures to understand your starting point of fitness. The information you gain from your assessment will help you to understand several important factors:
- Baseline measures (such as your current height, weight, BMI, Body Composition to help you to set goals and to both re-assess and evaluate your efforts and progress over time).
- Current Fitness Level (Optional assessments are available and conducted each term on Measurement Mondays such as the following):
- Cardiovascular Fitness Assessment: the Rockport One-Mile Walk test.
- Muscular Endurance Assessments: the Push-Ups and Curl-Ups tests.
- Muscular Strength Assessments: the Chest Press and Leg Press tests.
- Body Composition & Anthropometric Assessments: Body Circumference Measures, Body Mass Index, Bioelectric Impedance Body Composition test, and the Waist to Hip Ratio.
- Flexibility Assessment: the Sit and Reach test.
There will be opportunities to register for an assessment appointment each Academic term throughout the year. For more information on specific assessment opportunities please click on the Current Offerings link.
3) Is Your Schedule and Lifestyle Ready?
Another important area to assess is the availability of margin in your current lifestyle for exercise, etc. We suggest sitting down and taking a look at how you spend your time. This will help you realize any adjustments that you will need to make to create margin for your new lifestyle habits. An interesting perspective to take is to create "Personal Health & Wellness Appointments" in your day. Like you would any other important event in your life (any variety of important meetings that you have to schedule and attend: medical, legal, work-related, etc.) it would be wise to schedule these health appointments. It is beneficial to set/schedule these specific times to create the margin needed in your life to allow you the opportunity to actually pursue your healthy lifestyle habits. These scheduled appointments can be in blocks as little as Ten Minute increments and larger. Like any other appointment in our lives, setting a time helps to establish a priority and a realistic opportunity to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Setting and guarding these appointments will allow you the time and energy needed to actually make your health goals pursuable, one step at a time.
1) Create Goals: After you have conducted your assessment of your current fitness, you can then, make realistic and measurable goals to help you walk out the steps needed to enjoy the pursuit and help you reach your personal goals. From the measurements gained through your assessment you can now set those specific goals that help you in your pursuit. Two primary areas that are needed to help pursue a healthier lifestyle for most Americans are: Weight Management and Personal Fitness.
a) Weight Management Goals: We find ourselves at one of three places when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight and overall body composition: Maintain our current weight, Lose pounds based upon our current weight or Gain weight based upon our current weight.
If you determine that weight loss is the best current focus for you it is important to note that weight loss best occurs as a result of a proper balance in both: increasing one's physical activity and a balanced & healthful nutritional intake respective to your current activity level.
b) Personal Fitness Goals: Optional assessments are offered to PCC Faculty/Staff to assess their Cardiovascular, Muscular and Flexibility Fitness. From your results and the goals you have created for yourself, you can create a plan to increase your personal health through exercise.
Creating a specific exercise plan (including types of exercise, duration of exercise, frequency of exercise and intensity of exercise) will help provide the direction you need to pursue and reach your personal health goals.
c) Personal Nutrition Goals: A question most Americans struggles with is "What should I be eating?" A great place to start is the USDA's current Food Guidance System know as MyPyramid. (www.mypyramid.gov). This site allows for Americans to discover their own personal recommendations based on their age, gender, height, weight and activity level. From your MyPyramid Plan you can determine healthy recommendations for Cups of Fruits and Vegetables needed each day, along with the variety needed throughout the week. NOTE: Based upon your current health status you may have special nutritional needs that require direction and instruction from your Physician and/or a Registered Dietician.
2) Recruit Social Support: Research finds that relationships can provide the support and accountability needed to help us sustain our pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Reaching out to other people on our Campus, in our neighborhoods and homes can help us to stay focused, enjoy, and continue our pursuit of healthy activities. A good question to ask yourself is..."Who Can I Seek Support from and Provide Support for in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle?"
3) Create a Realistic Plan: Your Wellness Coordinator is ready to help you set your personal goals and from that help you develop a Plan to make pursuing your goals a reality.
Creating a weekly plan can help you take your goals and create specific steps that will help you pursue those goals on a regular basis. The plan will need to include specific steps that will help you reach your goals.
Physical Activity: Wearing a pedometer each day and setting a "steps" goal for each day can help you become intentional in pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Creating a weekly plan to enjoy regular Cardiovascular, Muscular (resistance) and Flexibility exercise (based on your current fitness level) can help you in your pursuit.
Nutrition: Based on your MyPyramid Plan or other directives from your Physician or Nutritionist you can set a daily plan of consuming a certain number of cups of water, fruits and vegetables each day.
There is a saying that shares...Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail. Creating and modifying as needed a weekly plan can help you remain consistent in taking the steps to pursue a healthy lifestyle.
There are several opportunities available on Campus to help you enjoy your pursuit. Please take a look at the Current Offerings link to see what opportunities you can step out, pursue and enjoy today, and in the near future. Also, please read email communications from the Wellness Program to keep abreast of the current offerings and opportunities.
Pursuing Health is a lifestyle. It is a lifelong process and journey. It is comprised of creating healthful habits that you enjoy and pursuing them on a regular and ongoing basis. The PCC Wellness Committee has created a year-round program that will provide continuous opportunities to pursue a healthy lifestyle all year round.
Rather than just pursuing a healthy lifestyle during the Campus-wide Challenges there are offerings and opportunities created and available to help you pursue your healthy lifestyle the entire year-round.
One of the important steps to take at both the beginning and the later portions of each term is to Re-Assess your fitness measures, modify your current goals/plans and create new goals/plans to enjoy your ongoing pursuit of a Healthy Lifestyle. As you are consistent in your pursuit there will be changes in your health and fitness that will allow for you to modify your goals and activities to continue to potentially enjoy even greater of the benefits of pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
Please take advantage of these opportunities to help you to modify existing/re-create new goals/plans as well as help keep you motivated over time.
Also, take the time and opportunity to evaluate your progress and efforts and adjust your action plan based on the evaluation.
Questions to ask yourself in addition to re-assessing your fitness are:
a) How successful was I at reaching my goals this term?
b) What are any barriers that have hindered me from enjoying greater progress in my goal attainment?
c) What do I need to do different to be more consistent/enjoy more success?
d) How should I modify my exercise, my steps and the other areas of my goals and plans to enjoy greater results from my continued pursuit?
For more information about Getting Started and enjoying the PCC Faculty/Staff Wellness Program Offerings to Pursue a Healthy Lifestyle please refer to the current Wellness Program Web Information or call 493-7399.