Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Ryan Kolb, University of Central Oklahoma

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Being Well: Ryan Kolb, University of Central Oklahoma

Article excerpt

EDMOND - Ryan Kolb depends on three things to help him stay healthy: his employer, healthy food and his relationship with God.

He has followed a strict, Bible-based vegan diet called the Daniel Diet for two years, and stays active at his company's on- site fitness center. In January, the training and development specialist at the University of Central Oklahoma won his employer's Biggest Loser challenge by shedding pounds and reducing 5.5 percent of his body fat.

Kolb said he got active when he was a freshman attending UCO. He started attending the fitness center five days per week. Though he was at first intimidated by exercise machines and equipment that was foreign to him, he made a commitment to working out because he wanted to broaden his horizons, he said.

"College brought out variety and the desire to diversify myself and learn more about the world," Kolb said. "Step one is starting to overcome those fears, and putting yourself in different situations you've never been through."

After college, he started working with a personal trainer and learned about the importance of nutrition in staying fit.

When he got a job at UCO, he said he was excited to take advantage of the company's wellness incentive program, GET 'EM, or Go Exercise Together. The program allows employees two hours per week of paid time to work out at the on-site fitness center and encourages employees to exercise together.

Kolb and David Herd, talent acquisition manager in the Human Resources Department, rely on one another to stay motivated. It's easy to use one's workload as an excuse not to go to the gym at the end of the day, Herd said. But having a co-worker to hold one accountable helps, he said.

"We don't let the other skip it, even if you get bogged down at work," Herd said.

Kolb said he really doesn't like working out, so he mixes it up. On a given week, he might shoot hoops with Herd, scale UCO's rock- climbing wall, or take a yoga class.

Kolb said in addition to feeling better about himself, he hasn't been sick this year. He agrees with studies that show improved employee productivity: for every one hour an employer gives for health and wellness, those workers give 64 minutes of productive time to their jobs. …

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