Tahoe Top 5: new year, new you | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Top 5: new year, new you

Many people look to improve their health in the new year, and Tahoe Forest Center for Health in Truckee offers free community education, exercise tools and experts to help their clients reach their wellness goals.

Wendy Buchanan, MS, is director of wellness programs at the center and says their goals are to improve access to care, improve the health of our community and hospital employees through exercise, nutrition, motivation and restoration.

"We are a medically managed fitness center, offering wellness programming around chronic disease, nutrition, stress management and programs supporting the orthopedic continuum of care," Buchanan said.

The Center for Health is open to everyone in the community and encourages people to take charge of their health by implementing small, daily changes.

"Change can be a tough thing, but if what you've been doing isn't working for you — you have to change something," Buchanan said.

"Our health coaches are certified to guide clients to help them meet their goals, whatever they may be, whether it be chronic conditions or other health risks," she added.

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Liz Schenk, BS, MBA, is a certified health coach and ACSM certified personal trainer with the health center, who encourages her clients to listen to their bodies when embarking on a new health routine.

"Start small, listen to your body and enlist the help of an experienced personal trainer. Don't feel like you have to go from A to Z in a day. Fitness for a lifetime is about enjoying the journey, not just the destination," Schenk said.

Below are Schenk's top five tips for kicking off 2018 on the right foot and incorporating better health practices each day.

1. Physical Activity + Nutrition = Longevity

Schenk said research on the need for physical activity and sound nutrition goes beyond staying trim.

Diet and exercise are beneficial for fighting off lifestyle related diseases, as well as cognitive decline as the body ages.

By incorporating more movement and healthier nutrition into your lifestyle, you will gradually make a change that is sustainable over a long period of time for optimal overall wellness.

2. Exercises Without a Gym

For those looking to exercise from the comfort of their own home, Schenk encourages people to do a variety of bodyweight exercise that can be done anywhere, with no equipment needed.

Exercises such as squats, lunges, pushups and planks work multiple muscle groups so you get more "bang for your buck."

When it comes to improving aerobic fitness, Schenk said that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world to go for a walk or a hike.

3. Make Healthier Food Choices

In addition to making more time for exercise, Schenk says fueling your body with healthier foods will help train your body to naturally crave healthier options.

"Tune into how exercise and the foods you eat make you feel," she said. "Over time, you will gravitate to the choices that give you focus and energy." 4. Meal Prep Like a Pro

To save yourself some time at the end of a long day, Schenk suggests meal prepping ahead of time.

"Keep it simple and plan ahead for the times you know you will be tired. When we are tired we tend to take the path of least resistance, which often leads to picking up dinner from the local fast food restaurant, not the healthy meal we had originally planned to make when we get home," she said.

5. Consult the Experts

The Tahoe Forest Center for Health is your community fitness and wellness center. They are here to help clients reach their goals with their highly trained staff consisting of registered dietitians, massage therapists, biofeedback, mindfulness instructors, personal trainers and fitness instructors, exercise physiologists, Pilates instructors, health coaches, and navigators.

Cassandra Walker is a features and entertainment reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at cwalker@sierrasun.com, 530-550-2654 or @snow1cass.

Learn More

Tahoe Forest Center for Health is a medically managed fitness center offering wellness programming around chronic disease, nutrition, stress management and programs supporting the orthopedic continuum of care.

Email wellness@tfhd.com or visit http://www.tfhd.com for more information.