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Creative Take on Wellness

posted by Lisa Paterno on Friday, November 22, 2013

EPI’s second annual Healthiest State Walk was a success with over 175 community members coming together to support wellness in the Cedar Valley.

The Healthiest State Walk isn’t the only thing EPI is doing to become more active. We’re using many creative approaches from new technology to zombie apocalypse fitness groups. (Yes, you read that right.)

In today’s fast paced, ever- changing world, technology has become an integral part of everyday life. The great news is we’re finding new technology has some great health benefits, too.

We’ve been so fortunate to have donors donate iPads over the last few years. The iPad technology is used at EPI’s CHOICE Day Habilitation program and throughout many residences of EPI.

Early uses of the iPads were centered around help in communication and scheduling help but now we see many other applications. One individual is using his iPad to learn how to cook. Utilizing an app that creates photo directions to prepare a recipe.

Technology isn’t the only creative approach. For many, one of the struggles of staying active is keeping it fun and interesting. One staff, Tony Harting, did a little out-of-the-box thinking with his team and persons served, and came up with a great way to do just that.

They took their love of zombie movies and want of an alternative fitness program and turned it into Z.A.S.T., which stands for Zombie Apocalypse Survival Training.

Along with training for a 5k, the group involves much more than a simple workout. Those involved have a point system, which does reward weight loss, but also rewards lifestyle changes which can be equally important.

The system includes writing out weekly menus, incorporating fruits and vegetables into each meal, eating breakfast daily, and achieving weekly exercise goals.

The ZAST results are in. Individuals who completed the training not only lost weight and lowered their body mass index (BMI) but also starting eating breakfast more regularly, incorporated fruits and vegetables into their diet as well as increased the amount of sit ups, pushups, and jumping jacks they were able to do.

EPI cares about our staff and persons served. We want a long and healthy life for each. That’s why wellness is so important to us and why we celebrate creative approaches.

About The Author

Lisa Paterno is the Human Resource Director with Exceptional Persons, Inc. (EPI).