PROVO — Holly Blanco hasn't always been a health enthusiast, but everything changed when she started Intermountain Healthcare's 100-Day Heart Challenge.
“On Saturday, I put on a pair of pants I haven’t worn for a couple years, and even though I haven’t seen a drop in weight, something is happening because the pants fit, so that’s exciting,” said Blanco, who is a month into the competition.
Each year, Utah Valley Hospital selects and sponsors 20 participants out of over 100 applicants in a healthy diet and exercise competition.
Intermountain Healthcare Media Manager Janet Frank said they offer the participants everything from a personal trainer to nutritional classes on a weekly basis.
“We really wanted to show people what they could do to improve their heart health,” she said.
Intermountain’s personal trainers tailor the workouts to each individual’s needs. Blanco said if her knee is hurting her personal trainer will make suggestions like, “Let’s tweak it this way or that way," or "Let’s use less weight.”
The program includes pre and post assessments to track patient progress at Utah Valley's new Live Well Center by measuring a patient’s body composition, cardiovascular fitness and resting metabolic rate. Each participant has free access to the hospital’s new gym at the center.
Setting specific, measurable and achievable nutritional goals is an important part of the program. Blanco followed this guidance in an effort to stay away from temptation.
“There’s always food available in the break room, so I’m going to make sure I’m bringing good nutritious snacks so I’m not tempted to go in and have the cookie or the cake,” she said.
This year, Intermountain Healthcare is letting anyone participate in the six-month program for $720 plus a $20 materials fee. Many insurance companies now allow people to use a flex spending or a health savings account to cover the cost of Intermountain Healthcare's new Healthy Lifestyle Program.
“I love to watch the changes that happen over the 100 days from confidence, to knowledge, to the desire to want to live healthier,” said Intermountain’s Cardiac Rehab Supervisor Traci Heiner. With these major lifestyle changes, she said some of the patients actually go off their medication.
Go to utahvalleyhospital.org/livewellcenter or call 801-357-4141 for registration information.