Campus Recreation Program Continues to Inspire Healthy Habits

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Participants from the most recent Health Living Program completed the session right before the holidays and were presented with sweatshirts for completion of the program from Dr. Ken Brown, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer at UTHSC. Left to right are Charmagyne Akram, Kelli Ward, Cierra Richmond, Ana Camila Oliveira Souza, and Carolyn Smith (front). Not pictured: Harriet Lang and Lyniel Smith.

“I matter.”

For Carolyn Smith, that was the single most important factor for participating in the Healthy Living Program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center.

Smith, training specialist in the Campus Police Department, was part of the most recent class to complete Campus Recreation’s Healthy Living Program. The 12-week program provides structure, expert tips, and encouragement, while in a group setting, to those who want to adopt healthier habits.

What began in September 2015 as an idea by Campus Recreation to bring together a group of people wanting to develop healthier lifestyles, has now helped a total of 51 participants, who have lost a total of 99 inches.

“This program helped me to become more consistent when it comes to my health,” Smith said. “The two most important things that helped me are knowledge and support.” The program’s focus is not all about weight loss, but adopting healthier habits that can translate into consistent, healthier lifestyle choices.

Participants meet to cover topics on nutrition, fitness and exercise one night a week for 45 minutes to an hour.

“The sessions afforded me an opportunity to learn and grow with great people who have the same struggles and goals,” Smith said. “Most importantly, I learned how to incorporate multiple actions that will benefit me with a healthier life style overall.”

Completing the program during the holiday season presented challenges for Smith, but thanks to techniques learned from the Healthy Living Program, she walked a lot while shopping for gifts, incorporated healthier ingredients when cooking meals, and spent more time getting quality relaxation and rest.

“Stop trying to find the time, improve your well-being and take the time to do it,” Smith said. “You deserve it.”

Among the top on everyone’s to do list during the New Year is to adopt a healthier lifestyle including losing weight, getting fit, and eating healthy. Getting healthy outnumbers being more organized, living life to the fullest, learning new hobbies, and saving more money as New Year’s resolutions.

New sessions of the Healthy Living Program begin January 23 with groups meeting on Tuesday evenings at 5. The registration deadline is January 19. Email Suzanne Apperson, fitness and wellness coordinator in the Department of Campus Recreation, at sfenech@uthsc.edu.