Western Wellness offers new ways to stay fit and be well

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Wellness initiative is offering two new programs this fall, adding to its blossoming efforts to spread health and wellness across the WMU campus.

The two new programs include a diabetes program that will meet at noon on three successive Thursdays beginning Nov. 3 in 3140 Sindecuse Health Center. The educational sessions will be led by Dr. Lisa Marshall, director of Sindecuse Health Center; Gretchen Kauth, registered dietitian; and Jim Middleton, director of pharmacy. In addition to people who have diabetes, the sessions are open to those who have pre-diabetes, have family members with diabetes, or simply want to learn more about diabetes.

Another new offering is Learn to Lift, a three-week weight training program. The program will introduce people to preloaded weight machines and cardio equipment in the Student Recreation Center's recently revamped 8,000-square-foot weight room, featuring new equipment that replaced old equipment. A five-week Strength Training 101 class also is being offered. Participants will start with free weights and machines and learn weight-lifting basics. Both classes meet twice a week.

Extending well-being

To broaden its appeal and extend well-being to all WMU employees, Western Wellness offers a wide variety of programs and services throughout campus to empower employees to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

The Western Wellness website has been redesigned and gives information on fall programs, including the fitness schedule for fall classes that began Tuesday, Sept. 6, and run through Sunday, Dec. 11. Those classes include CycleFit, Kettlebell Strength, Full Body Strength, Yoga and Yoga Core, Zumba, Body Boot Camp, Deep and Shallow Aqua, TurboKick, Butts and Guts and more. The Healthy Weigh is another new offering that provides a comprehensive, evidence-based program designed to help people achieve health, wellness and weight management goals through nutrition, physical activity and behavior changes. That program started in February, and a second group is currently meeting through November.

Table Talks also are being offered from 12:05 to 12:55 p.m. the first Friday of each month in the Faculty Dining Room of the Bernhard Center Lunchroom. Led by facilitators from Holtyn & Associates and HelpNet, discussions will center of a variety of topics impacting health and well-being today, including caregiving for aging adults, communicating with children and putting more laughter in your life.

Looking ahead, the 2016 Benefits and Wellness Expo in partnership with Western Wellness is Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Wellness incentive

One focus of Western Wellness is to urge faculty and staff to sign up for the $240 per year wellness incentive. It is a reduction in the health plan contributions each pay period throughout the calendar year. Signing up to take advantage of the incentive is quick and easy by following three easy steps: Complete the online health risk assessment, attend a biometric screening and participate in a health coaching session. The biometric screening can be done by scheduling an appointment with Holtyn & Associates online at holtynhpc.com, calling Sindecuse Health Center at (269) 387-3282, or by contacting your primary care provider and having them complete and mail a Primary Care Provider form after completion of a health maintenance exam.

All benefit eligible faculty and staff are eligible to participate. If both spouses work at WMU, the individual with the health plan payroll deduction will receive the benefit reduction. Those who are eligible to participate, but do not elect health insurance through WMU, may still participate and complete a biometric assessment, without receiving the health plan payroll.

For more information, visit the newly unveiled Western Wellness website at wmich.edu/wellness.

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