Rex Wellness Center Success Stories

Motivate yourself to begin your journey towards a healthier lifestyle by reading success stories from Rex Wellness Center members

Making the Gym Part of Your Lifestyle

Post by Rodney Jenkins, a Group Exercise Instructor at the REX Wellness Center of Garner. He is also a business teacher, a soccer coach and an athletic trainer with the Wake County Public School system.

After one of my recent water classes in Garner, I had an opportunity to speak to some of our members about our July 10 Garner Sprint Triathlon. Ultimately, the question of training for a triathlon came up and after a short discussion about the training program that many of our participants used, I made the statement that there is a difference between simply working out and training. They asked me, ”what do you mean?”  My response was pretty simple. Working out does require a commitment but it is a commitment that can easily be broken. But training has purpose and requires a commitment that cannot easily be broken.

For various reasons, people walk away from working out at the gym every single day with seemingly no consequences. Some return while others do not.  However, if you’ve ever taken that leap of faith and trained for an event, you know what it feels like to find purpose in the workout. It’s called Race day. Race day is the ultimate reward where you prove to yourself that all of the training was worth the time and effort.  Without race day, it is easy to fall into the Doldrums. (aka, inactivity which I blogged about back in 2012).

Let’s use the Rex Wellness Sprint Triathlon in Knightdale as a perfect example of an opportunity for commitment and purpose. Race day is Sunday, September 18 (purpose).  As of today, the cost is $ 65.00 but after September 14, it goes up to $75.00 (procrastination fee) eventually going up to $85.00. So let’s say you sign up (commitment) and use an 11 week Sprint Training Program. You grab a calendar and count back 11 weeks from September 14. You begin reading the program and you start training. Week 1, you are excited. Week 2, you realize that this is hard work but you have made a commitment so you keep training. Week 3, you ask yourself, what have I gotten myself into?  I can miss a workout or two but I can’t stop and certainly cannot quit going to the gym (purpose and commitment). Week 4, you start to feel stronger and your confidence grows, you begin to understand what training is all about and start to see real purpose in swimming, cycling and running. Before you know it, September 14 has arrived and thanks to the training program you committed to 11 weeks ago, you are ready. Will you be successful? Until you sign up, the end of the story cannot be written.

It was not at all difficult to create this scenario because I see it played out over and over again. When members sign up for an event and find purpose in their training, the gym becomes part of their lifestyle and they are less likely to walk away. Purpose in your gym routine seems to make the commitment to a gym membership all worthwhile. So how do you start? Talk to a runner or triathlete at your wellness center. If you are in Garner, talk to me and I will be happy to show the path toward finding your Race/Reward Day.

Here are a couple of pictures from the Garner Triathlon.

Garner Triathlon

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Pokémon Go Safety Tips

Pokémon Go surpassed Candy Crush Saga to become the most popular mobile game of all time with the highest amount of active users ever recorded. Here are some tips to keep in mind while playing:

  1. Like the game says, be aware of your surroundings. Don’t play while driving or walking around roads or parking lots. Also, be mindful of your own hiking skill level if you take on challenging terrain while trying to catch that elusive Dratini.
  2. If you plan to play for an extended period, prepare yourself! You should always stretch before exercising. Also, consider taking water with you, it’s hot out there.
  3. Be respectful of real world locations like museums, hospitals, or churches. Some public spaces may take exception to random trainers walking through checking in at a Pokestop. Use your best judgement.
  4. Be careful late at night or visiting remote locations. There have been some reports of robberies. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations.
  5. Encourage others to play with you. It is more fun to play with other people, and they can get some exercise too!
  6. Volunteer! Some local animal shelters encourage the community to take their dogs for walks. Why not stop by and walk a dog while you play?
    1. Saving Grace Animals for Adoption
    2. Wake GOV Animal Center
    3. SPCA of Wake County 
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Reaching the Finish Line: Beach2Battleship Half-Iron Distance Triathlon

051613_TheresaPost by Theresa Pearce, a member of Rex Wellness Center of Garner. Theresa completed her first triathlon sprint in 2013 with Rodney Jenkins, a group exercise instructor at the Rex Wellness Center of Garner. This year, Theresa shares her experience on the challenges and successes she faced while participating in two half-iron distance triathlons. 

After completing several sprints in 2013 and 2014, I decided 2015 would be the year I would tackle two two half-iron distance triathlons, the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 in May and the Beach2Battleship at Wrightsville Beach in October. Knowing that I had to prepare for two triathlons with several weeks of training, as well as having plans to travel overseas,I was looking forward to a busy yet exciting year for me.

Training for the Raleigh race began at the end of January, and went really well. The day of the race approached very quickly. During the swim course, I spent too much time, barely making the cut off time. I got through 50 miles on the bike before getting pulled off the course by race officials, at that point,  time was not on my side. After 22 weeks of training, I was left with heartbreak and disappointment. However, I had no choice other than get over it and move on.

The third week of training for B2B was starting the following week which would give me a new goal to focus on. In this race, I was part of the 70.3 training group at Rex led by Rodney Jenkins. After a couple of days off, I was right back at it for a few weeks before my trip to Europe. While traveling abroad, my friend, Angie Jenkins, and I managed to get in a few outside runs along with some indoor cycling. Once we got back to the U.S., we returned to our regular training schedule.

Publication1All of a sudden, race day for the Beach2Battleship arrived and the weather conditions were nearly perfect. With a little help from the ocean current, my swim was faster in this race. This allowed me to get on the bike sooner. As I transitioned into the cycling course, I looked at my Garmin and realized the bike ride would be faster too. This meant that I would make it to the run and have a chance to finish. I didn’t expect to break any speed records on my run, my main goal was to just keep moving forward to get to the finish line.

Throughout the run I saw everyone from our training group at various stages of their runs as well as spectating friends from Rex who were there cheering us on. About mile 8 or 9 it started to hit me that I was going to make it. From that point on, tears would come and go all the way to the finish line. I was so happy to finish and get that medal because it really had been a long year of training and it finally paid off.

At the end, it was a exiting day for all, as everyone on our Garner Rex team finished. After a few hugs and some food, the group waited for fellow Rex members Liz and Jason to finish the full distance race before leaving for the night.

The next morning I awoke with tears in my eyes just thinking about what happened the night before. Though I didn’t get much sleep because I was too excited, I was on cloud nine. Some of us met for breakfast to talk about the race before leaving town. When we arrived home, Rodney and Angie presented me with a 70.3 magnet for my vehicle. I can’t thank them enough for the love and support they have showed me throughout this journey and beyond.

Publication2Our entire B2B training team is much appreciative of the support the Rex Wellness family has showed us throughout this adventure. In 2013 the plan was for Rodney to coach me to finish what was to be my first sprint and only triathlon. Coach and his wife have long since become close personal friends of mine for life and now I’m a 70.3 finisher for life!! You could say there was a slight change of plans.

I am proof that if you commit to your training and don’t give up, it is not required that you be tall, lean, or super fast to accomplish something as great as finishing a 70.3 half-iron triathlon.

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Juan’s Rex Wellness Center Success Story

If you are setting a New Year’s goal to slim down-do not put “diet” on your list. According to Shelly Wegman, a nutritionist for the Rex Wellness Centers, “Diets make you deny yourself something, which is why they fail.” For some, the New Year brings along with it a time of renewed commitment to self-improvement and that means setting many ambitious goals for the future. It might be to work toward a promotion, organize your home, make healthier decisions or lose weight.

Juan Hernandez before he started his wellness program.

Juan Hernandez before he started his wellness program.

If becoming healthier and losing weight are your goals for the New Year, where should you start? Juan Hernandez, a member of the Rex Wellness Center in Garner, seems to have the answer.

For more than two years, Juan struggled with medical issues that left both his wife and him stressed, exhausted and often sick. In January 2011, after yet another round of medical issues, Juan knew he needed to make a lifestyle change. He joined the Rex Wellness Center in Garner at the end of January after seeing an online advertisement for a program called The Healthy Way. At the wellness center, he was given a free assessment and decided to join The Healthy Way class. The class, which combines nutrition education, exercise and a focus on well-being, met once a week for 12 weeks. “We help with goal-setting, barriers to change and setting up a meal plan that works with your specific needs,” says Wegman, one of the presenters of The Healthy Way program. Wegman lists three common barriers to New Year’s resolutions that relate to healthy weight and wellness-unrealistic expectations, time and lack of motivation.

It all starts by setting a realistic goal.

Last January, Juan’s goals were simple: To make a change in his life and get healthy overall. Whether that meant eating better, being stronger or just more flexible, he was going to feel better. One year later he’s still at it and he reminds us that simple is not the same as easy. Making a change, like Juan did, is anything but easy. “I had to totally restructure my habits and my schedule,” he says.

Find the time to eat healthy and move.

Programs like The Healthy Way and many others can help, but if joining a fitness facility isn’t a possibility at this point, there is still plenty that you can do at home to achieve wellness. The key is to take small steps and work your way up. A realistic food goal could be portion control, while an exercise goal could be to take a walk three times a week. Creating overly ambitious goals, such as working out five times a week at the start or completely removing all fatty foods from your diet, can lead to frustration and failure.

A meal plan should be designed to fit your needs. If you can, consider meeting with a dietician to discuss your goals and ways to work toward them. “It doesn’t have to be expensive to eat right,” says Wegman. “It just depends on what you buy. You will spend the most money on fruits, vegetables and meat, but if you are trying to save money, frozen fruits and veggies are a good alternative, as is buying local produce. Beans and eggs are also healthy choices and are not very expensive.” Wegman stresses portion control and suggests, “If you take smaller portions, your money will go farther.”

Juan Hernandez after one year of making healthy lifestyle choices.

Juan Hernandez after one year of making healthy lifestyle choices.

Rex Wellness personal trainer Learie Joseph suggests that you use your goals to determine the steps you should take next. “If you want to exercise more, there are many activities that can be done at home, including push-ups, pull-ups, lunges and squats, walks with family and going to the park. It also may be helpful to do these activities with a friend or family member. Sticking to a new task may be difficult if you are doing it alone and a partner can provide motivation.”

Staying motivated.

Over the last year, Juan has followed the advice of Wegman and Joseph, and used the information he learned from The Healthy Way class at the Rex Wellness Center. Thirty pounds later, Juan is off of his medications for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. He no longer needs his Bi-Pap machine to help him get a restful night’s sleep and has reduced his waist size by seven inches.

“I have more energy, I am sleeping better and I am happier all around,” says Juan. When asked what his next goals are, Juan replied that he wants to continue his efforts and work toward dropping his weight to 200 pounds. “Eventually, I would really like to run again and be lighter on my feet,” says Juan, who was an avid runner in high school.

Article by Kendra Jordan and Jenny Johnson. Kendra Jordon and Jenny Johnson work in the marketing and public relations department at Rex Healthcare.

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James’ Rex Wellness Center Success Story

JamesJames, a member of Rex Wellness Center of Garner, has made life changing achievements through regular exercise.

Not long ago, his physician told him that he was close to having a heart attack. Since then, James began treadmill walking and with the help of the wellness center staff, he is now running!

James participates in both 5k and 10k races and recently placed 4th in his age division in a 10k competition.

The Trekking class is encouraging him to do a triathlon.

As a result of his commitment to exercise, James won a weight loss competition at work and no longer needs diabetic medication.

Way to go James!

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Archie’s Rex Wellness Success Story

archieArchie first came to Rex Wellness Center of Raleigh for Cardiac Rehab in 1999. Since then he has made huge advances in health and wellness.

He participated in Healthy Way in 2004 and still tracks his nutrition to this day. Archie enjoys taking the Cycling classes with his wife and also participates in swimming classes, and TRX.

Archie’s daily motivators are the concerned instructors and staff who encourage him, think of his health first and performance second, and his classmates at Rex Wellness Center of Raleigh.

“They are friendly, helpful, and non judgmental.” The steady improvements in overall health and endurance motivate Archie.

Being active for Archie is “fun” and will allow him to continue to enjoy his two grandchildren.

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Mary’s Rex Wellness Success Story

story-maryMary, a long time member of Rex Wellness Center of Garner, credits her success to being an “exercise groupie” after training alone for years.

In addition to running, she regularly attends Trekking, Cycling, Zumba, Rep Reebok and Body Shaping.

She loves the group exercise classes, not only for the awesome workouts, but for the motivation from the instructors.

When she hits an exercise slump, Mary takes time to look back at her accomplishments and recreates the joy and pride she felt while achieving them.

Mary has set a remarkable personal goal of completing one 8k, seven 5k’s and five triathlons (three super sprints and two sprints) in one year.

Congratulations Mary!

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Cindy’s Rex Wellness Success Story

cindyCindy joined Rex Wellness Centers at the age of 35.

For the first year, she worked out sporadically, not seriously. She had never exercised and didn’t think there was anything she’d enjoy about it.

After some convincing, she enrolled in the Healthy Way program. She was determined that she could make healthy eating and exercise a lifestyle, while still enjoying her food and having fun.

By the end of the 12-week program, Cindy had lost 25 pounds. Eight months after the program ended, through continued practice of what she’d learned in class, Cindy had lost 60 pounds!

She is proud to say that she has maintained her weight loss through doing exercise she loves – cycling – and making better food choices.

She knows it will always be a work in progress, but she’s confident she now has the tools to adapt!

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Heather’s Rex Wellness Success Story

HeatHeatherher, a dedicated Rex Wellness member since January 2010, set an initial goal to become healthier so she could participate in some adventurous backpacking.

She regularly attended classes that made all the difference: TRX and Boot Camp.

Every time she comes in to the facility to work out she said the staff keeps her motivated with regular encouragement and by challenging her with new work outs. “They know my name and it’s like I have my own personal cheerleaders!”

Heather said the key for her continued success is setting small goals and rewarding herself when she reaches them.

She thinks about the progress she has made (over 100 lbs. of weight loss!) when she needs a boost.

When people ask me how I’ve made so much progress – I have three words for them – Body by Rex!

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Lyle’s Rex Wellness Success Story

Lyle joined Rex Wellness Center of Wakefield in November of 2009.

When Lyle started his journey to wellness he weighed over 500 lbs!

His physician told him he needed to shed pounds and do it quickly. Lyle had to make some major changes and realized he could accomplish them through diet and exercise.

He adopted the philosophy of “Doing Better.” His goal was to do better than he had the day before, the week before, and the meal before. Lyle has lost over half his starting weight and is proud to say he is “half the man he used to be!”

Congratulations, Lyle, we are so proud of you and your wellness achievements!

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