Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma City-County Health Department's Total Wellness Classes Offer Support for Healthy Lifestyle

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma City-County Health Department's Total Wellness Classes Offer Support for Healthy Lifestyle

Article excerpt

When Deveryle James moved to Oklahoma City from Arkansas two years ago, she came to take care of her mother, who had health problems. She ended up finding a path to a healthier lifestyle and losing more than 100 pounds through free nutrition classes at the public library. To keep her on track, she will soon start her third session of Total Wellness classes at the public library in The Village.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department started offering the classes in 2007, to reduce and prevent chronic diseases. The curriculum is based on clinical trials conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. The local program's goals are that clients lose 5 percent of their body weight and exercise for 150 minutes per week, or half an hour five days weekly.

James said she and her mother joined the YMCA so her mother could take water aerobics classes. She was across the street at the public library when she found out about the classes. Having the two facilities so close by is perfect for her, she said. After attending the Total Wellness class, she can walk across the street to attend Zumba classes, an aerobic dance class set to Latin-style music.

She said she always enjoyed exercise, but she would eat high- calorie meals afterward, making the assumption that she burned an equivalent amount of calories during her workout. One of the key things she learned in the Total Wellness class was moderation, she said.

"I had lost weight before, but I was always at one end of the spectrum - either fasting and eating salads, or eating pizzas and fast food," she said.

Allyson Drain, chronic disease prevention dietician with the City- County Health Department, manages the wellness classes. She teaches her clients how to choose whole-grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, instead of refined carbohydrates, such as potatoes, as part of a balanced, diabetic-friendly meal.

The clients must log their food and exercise weekly, and they have homework assignments. …

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