Lipscomb's development office loses more than 70 pounds in Lifestyles:NEXT program

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Lifestyles NEXT program

The development office Lifestyles:NEXT crew eating a healthy meal in the dining hall.

When it comes to promoting health in the business world, most employees don’t expect much more than health insurance benefits and sick days, but Lipscomb’s Office of Development has gone way above and beyond that during the fall 2012 semester.

Vice President of Development Bennie Harris came to the Department of Campus Recreation this fall and devised the first Lifestyles:NEXT program as a way to  promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle to development office employees. The program drew on the existing services of the Student Activities Center, providing each participating employee free passes to group fitness classes for an entire month, along with two free workout sessions with Nicholas Mortensen, wellness graduate assistant.

Daily Facebook posts with advice on training and nutrition were used to encourage all 21 participants. Each participant weighed in every week to keep track of weight loss progress and prizes were awarded to the winners.  In order to teach healthier eating habits, a dietetic intern walked with the participants around the food court, showing the employees healthy options and how to control portion sizes.

“Everyone who completed the program now knows that it takes dedication and determination, both through exercise and nutrition, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Mortensen.

Twelve development employees are still working out as a group with Mortenson, even after the official program has ended.

Employees reported learning that working with a team makes fitness much easier, that they can do much more physically than they thought, that even just a few minutes of cardio a day can make a difference and that we consume far more food than we actually need.

“I think this whole program positively impacted everyone in one form or another.  I hope that all of the participants continue with achieving their goals, whatever they may be,” said Mortensen.  “I really enjoyed working with such a diverse population and it made me feel great that I helped everyone increase the quality of their lives.”

The Lifestyles:NEXT program produced great results. Collectively participants lost 71.7 pounds, reduced their body fat by 16.3% and total body percentage lost was 37.77 percent. The final winner of the program was Advancement Research Director Matt Sullivan, who lost 17 pounds.

“Seeing my colleagues work so hard inspired me to commit fully to the program,” said Sullivan. “Nicholas Mortenson, our trainer, was patient and encouraging. He did such a good job that several of my teammates got together and commissioned him to continue working with us.”

The Lifestyles:NEXT program is available to be adapted to any Lipscomb department that may be interested in promoting good health and fitness, said Emily Harris, director of campus recreation and the SAC.  In addition, personal training sessions are available for groups of at least four people up to more than 10 for discounted prices per person per session, making it easier for a group of employees to take on healthy fitness goals together.

The campus recreation department is also offering four Christmas package deals on group fitness, personal training and nutrition consultations. For details on these fitness deals click here.

For more information on standard personal training and wellness packages click here.