Column: Small changes lead to a big difference

Christina Rosado, director of the Ivy Lifestyle Program. Photos/Lisa Jardine

Christina Rosado, director of the Ivy Lifestyle Program. Photos/Lisa Jardine

Several years ago, I vowed to no longer make big, sweeping New Year’s resolutions because I was just setting myself up for failure—and at the start of a new year, no less.

What I have done is tried to make small changes, hoping they will lead to bigger ones and, this way, they are much easier to maintain and I’m less likely to fail. If, like me, one of your goals for 2014 is to become a healthier person and make the necessary lifestyle changes to support that, this is the article you will want to tear out of the paper. It’s the perfect opportunity to get off the couch and put down the fork—slowly—and for very little out of pocket expense.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity is the third-leading cause of death in the United States. It brings with it higher risks for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and some forms of cancer. An adult who has a body mass index between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight and an adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. To calculate your BMI you can go to the CDC’s website.

A client training at the facility. Photo courtesy Ivy Fitness

A client training at the facility. Photo courtesy Ivy Fitness

The good news is that choosing a lifestyle that includes good eating habits and daily physical activity can control weight. The challenge is to find the right plan for you and to implement it. With so many new trends in diet and exercise, it can all become too overwhelming to know where to begin, not to mention very expensive.

Christina Rosado, 31, a doctor of physical therapy, is the director of rehabilitation at Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy in Mamaroneck. She started a wellness program about a year ago incorporating work she started while getting her doctorate in physical therapy.

“We are an outpatient physical therapy office and we constantly see the results of what comes after the disease or injury,” Rosado said. “I thought it made sense to develop a program to help patients before the disease or injury ever occurs, so we incorporated preventive care into the practice and it’s been a year since its inception. We are now offering this service in six of our 30 offices in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.”

The 30-day quick start weight loss and fitness program starts with a complimentary total body wellness and fitness evaluation. This helps determine the client’s cardiovascular health, body strength, flexibility and balance. They compare the data to the norms for the patient’s age and gender and create an individually tailored exercise program. This is submitted to the patient’s insurance company—they accept all insurance—to determine how many visits are approved and paid for by insurance. Usually, most insurance companies cover the cost of the 30-day program. The exercise sessions, usually two to three times a week, are done at the facility with different exercises and always with a physical therapist that monitors form and looks for any red flags.

Physical therapists are the perfect people to oversee a fitness routine as they take past injuries into consideration and tell you what exercises to avoid. They are always on the lookout for other signs that may indicate problems beyond the scope of a good, hard workout.

“Trainers don’t always know which red flags to look out for while exercising and not every exercise trend is for everyone, “Rosado said. “I’ve seen a lot of Crossfit injuries. Crossfit is best-suited to the advanced athlete, someone who knows his or her body well. I wouldn’t recommend starting an exercise program at Crossfit. The ‘no pain, no gain’ is old school. We know that pain is an indicator that something is wrong.”

And physical fitness always goes hand-in-hand with nutrition and eating well. The Ivy Rehab Physical Therapy 30-day program offers three complimentary sessions with a nutritionist. They start out with an in-depth health questionnaire, which is designed to assess the client’s current diet, health, nutrient status, genetics, environment and current lifestyle. Different recommendations are given, along with suggested diet modifications and lifestyle changes. A patient may be consuming too much salt or too many carbs. The goal is to balance a client’s intake of fats, carbs and proteins and improve overall nutrient status, which supports digestion and absorption of foods.

“Our facility and our therapists are not intimidating. We offer a safe and caring environment before venturing to a more traditional gym,” Rosado said. “After the 30 days are over, we don’t just drop our clients. We help them with their transition, whether it is to a local gym or at-home exercise. We will speak to the trainers at the gym, and we’ll also create an exercise routine to do there or at home. And we offer complimentary re-evaluations at any time.”

And this 30-day program is for everyone.

A view of the facility.

A view of the facility.

Clients range from college students who may have never entered a gym before and need some guidance and instruction—as well as nutritional education—to middle-aged clients who want to get back into shape after years of not exercising, to seniors.

Each fitness evaluation is age appropriate. Kathie Feedor, 51, from the Bronx came to Ivy for rehabilitation for a back injury. While there, she found out about the lifestyle wellness and fitness program and signed up.

“I knew that I needed a kick-start to get myself motivated to work out so that I could get my body toned. I felt that my back injury would come back if my muscles weren’t toned,” Feedor said. “My insurance company approved visits, so I was able to participate in the program. Christina [Rosado] evaluated what I was able to do and worked with my level. She knew what I had to do in order to get me motivated and not discouraged”

So are you ready for a healthier you? What do you have to lose besides some extra weight and body mass?

Ivy Lifestyle

Wellness & Fitness

www.ivyrehab.com

550 Mamaroneck Ave.,

Mamaroneck, N.Y. – Suite 104

(914) 777-3737