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The power & possibility of healthy living in Savannah 

click to enlarge Walking Club participants (in the bright green T-shirts) from the CRI Life Enhancement Program with Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care set out on the Savannah River Bridge Run in December. For many of the Walking Club members, participation in this major community event was a life-time first and came after weeks of training with their CRI LEP exercise professionals. - JAMES BYOUS, © CANYON RANCH INSTITUTE.
  • James Byous, © Canyon Ranch Institute.
  • Walking Club participants (in the bright green T-shirts) from the CRI Life Enhancement Program with Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care set out on the Savannah River Bridge Run in December. For many of the Walking Club members, participation in this major community event was a life-time first and came after weeks of training with their CRI LEP exercise professionals.

IMAGINE a world where there are only two stores to shop at. One store is the healthy store. The other is the not healthy store.

Between them, they sell everything. There isn’t a need for another store.

They are both very well branded, so people shop at and like both stores. Sales are strong. Consumer perception is positive.

That branding allows people to be very aware of their decisions and what they mean for their health and well-being. There is no secret to health and happiness, no truly complex decisions to make. You either shop in the healthy store or you shop in the unhealthy store.

A simpler choice could not be offered – to be healthy or not. Some people always shop only at the healthy store. Other people always shop only at the unhealthy store.

Some people do a little of both and go back and forth.

The outcomes of those decisions are clearly reflected in how long people live, how productive they are during their lives, and how happy they feel. That isn’t to say that shopping at the unhealthy store necessarily makes people unhappy. But their lives are full of more worries that continue to grow over time as they find they are less able to accomplish what they want in their lives.

click to enlarge Carolyn Eiland, ANP-BC, CRI Life Enhancement Program Core Team Lead and Director of Clinical Services at Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, introduces participants to the content of the 12 sessions that includes topics that cover mind, body, spirit, and emotion.
  • Carolyn Eiland, ANP-BC, CRI Life Enhancement Program Core Team Lead and Director of Clinical Services at Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, introduces participants to the content of the 12 sessions that includes topics that cover mind, body, spirit, and emotion.

Perhaps the happiest and healthiest of all are those who mainly shop at the healthy store but every now and then allow themselves to enjoy some of the items sold in the unhealthy store. They are aware of when and why they go to the unhealthy store, and are able to keep that in moderation.

The world we live in today is far more complex. We are not always sure what the healthy choice is.

There are many things that can influence if a person is healthy or not – including where they live, their job or lack of job, how much money they make, how close they are to their family and friends, their race or ethnicity, or how much education they have received – a host of things in our lives and in the places where we live can influence our health and well-being.

The Canyon Ranch Institute (CRI) Life Enhancement Program that is offered with Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care on Broad Street because of the support of Charles H. and Rosalie Morris is a program that helps people better deal with the complexity of choices that can change our health.

The program lasts 12 weeks for each group of about 20 people. They experience the integrative health sessions that include cooking, exercise, improving health literacy, and helping people identify how they want to live their life in order to get the most out of our experiences.

So far, here in Savannah dozens of individuals have made changes in their lives because of the program and are benefiting from their choices. People who thought diabetes was unavoidable – are avoiding diabetes. People who thought weight loss was impossible – are losing weight. People who thought sadness was a necessary part of life – are finding joy.

The CRI Life Enhancement Program is a proven, scientific approach to help people identify and keep small changes in their lives that over time lead to big changes in their health Outcomes to date for participants include improvements in important markers in their blood – like C-Reactive protein, which is an indicator of your risk for a heart attack and other chronic diseases.

People are losing weight (one person lost 55 pounds!), exercising more, eating better, feeling less depressed (depression levels dropped by over 50% on average), and managing their stress better.

And beyond that, participants in the Savannah CRI Life Enhancement Program are becoming more active and engaged in their community. They are using their new-found energy to help spread the word about this absolutely free CRI Life Enhancement Program, about the power of integrative health, and they are working to make Savannah a healthier and happier community.

You can be a part of this effort – we call it the Canyon Ranch Institute Savannah Partnership. If you’d like to join us and help support the effort to make Savannah a healthier, happier community, please contact us at CRI@canyonranchinstitute.org.

In the meantime, try to make a few more visits to the healthy store and a few less to the unhealthy choices you may make. The benefits will last a lifetime.

click image Andrew Pleasant is Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research at Canyon Ranch Institute and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy.
  • Andrew Pleasant is Senior Director for Health Literacy and Research at Canyon Ranch Institute and a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Health Literacy.
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Connect Today 10.17.2017

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