Spring Into Better Health

Finally, the nice weather has arrived and we can pack away our winter wardrobe! As we shed bulky sweaters and coats we slip into our sandals and colourful spring/summer attire. With that comes the ease of kicking the extra winter weight gain to the curb! By ease, I don’t mean it’s easy to lose but it’s definitely easy to get outside and be more active.

As someone who has struggled with weight issues for the better part of 2 decades I have hopped from fad diet to fad diet looking for the next big miracle. While some of the things were successful, as soon as I stopped the fad of the month I would gain back all the weight I’d lost and then some! I had dabbled over time with exercise but nothing really ever stuck.

Last year, we were challenged to participate in a May Health challenge by our friends over at Clear Path Chiropractic Health Centre. Who knew that this small challenge would change my life! With this challenge there are 3 steps; 1) Choose your challenge 2) Shout it from the rooftops 3) Get Healthy. With the support of my superhero co-workers we did this together and had amazing support from our other May Health participants. My challenge last year was to be more active with the goal of losing weight in mind. I added in at least 30 minutes of activity into every day and bought my first Fitbit as a motivational tool – man did it ever work! I was hooked in no time and was constantly striving to get in more steps than the day before. Let’s flash to the end of the month…here is a tweet that I posted when the May Health Challenge was over;

Spring Into Better Health Post

That was just the beginning for me! What I found out is that I felt stronger and healthier, I found a love for fitness and started working with a personal trainer in January. I’ve managed to lose almost 40 pounds and have gained a lot of muscle. Who knew that Physical activity can improve health?

People who are physically active tend to live longer and have lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. You can use physical activity to reduce these risk factors and even be taken off your medication! Healthy employees are absent from work less and make fewer health claims ultimately reducing the cost of your employee benefit plan. Healthy employees are also able to focus more which increases their attention to detail and productivity.

I’m so excited to participate in the May Health challenge again this year and continue my journey! I encourage Guelph employers to engage their employees with a wellness program. What a great time to get it started!

Jackie Ooms

Group Insurance Advisor