We are on week 3 of the Avera Heart Hospital's Mission Nutrition Challenge. It's a 6 week learning program where Registered Dietitians are teamed up with volunteers who want to make some healthy changes in their lives. Nancy Naeve Brown is taking part. So far they've covered topics like breakfast, grocery shopping, and this week it's time to really get things moving.
Our Mission Nutrition group along with the Avera Heart Hospital Dietitians got their Zumba-on at the Vault in Sioux Falls. The vault is a dance club on the west side of town, but well shaken martini's are off limits on Mondays. The bar is closed on Monday's for a healthy dose of body shaking with Zumba Fitness by Dawn Szymik. Dawn says it's a great workout doesn't matter if you have two left feet. She says you just need to move your feet, hips and arms; moving your body is what's important. If you need extra incentive, 13 years ago Dawn weighed 260 pounds. Those days are gone!
Dawn says, "This is the best I have ever felt. A typical class ranges in calorie burn from 500 to 1000 calories in one Zumba class. We do Merengue, salsa, hip hop, belly dancing, flamenco and all Latin styles fused with fitness and it's so much fun to see people get excited and screaming. You can be small, big, old, young everyone can do it."
Fitness guru's like Dawn, the doctors and our dietitians tell us making changes in our diet is important but exercise has to be incorporated too. Physical activity increases metabolism, weight loss, and our good cholesterol. It helps decrease belly fat, blood pressure, and our blood sugar which also helps lower our risk of cardiovascular disease.
Mother daughter duo Becky Bessman and Renee Grayson are teammates of mine. We are part of Nikki Ver Steeg's Rockin' Reducers. Becky and Renee are not only drawing support from Nikki but from each other.
Becky says, "It was really important. Both of us face the same struggles. Me being the daughter she's passed some of those good genes to me. Being able to do it together and keep each other on track and accountable. That's a big part of it. Also we can work out together.
It's working for them. Both of them feel better and are seeing the changes.
Becky says, "I've lost 14 pounds not because I went on a diet, but because I made diet changes."
Renee says, "Giving up diet coke and things I don't need made a big difference in the last two weeks. I'm excited to continue."
And I'm excited to have such committed teammates on the move to a healthier life.
To learn more about the Avera Heart Hospital's Mission Nutrition go to: