December 9, 2022

‘Purdue Pursuits’: One to One Fit

By her own account, Dawn Dobyns-Gross is a workaholic. Between her role as an investigator in the Office of Institutional Equity and a student pursuing a Purdue Global master’s degree, Dobyns-Gross has little room in her schedule to focus on her health.

When doctors began saying she should reduce her stress levels and start exercising more, Dobyns-Gross took steps to change her lifestyle by blocking time out of her lunch hour to participate in campus health programs like One to One Fit.

“I always worry about everybody else, and I don’t take enough time for myself,” Dobyns-Gross says. “The class was online, and I stood here in my office with my dress and my heels doing the exercises, so it forced me to do it.”

Led by Purdue Fort Wayne health coach Lindsay Bloom, One to One Fit is a four-week, virtual physical activity program that establishes a baseline fitness level and provides participants with the resources and knowledge needed to meet their fitness goals. The program is designed for those interested in making lifestyle changes related to weight loss, increased energy, better sleep and stress management. One to One Fit explores three types of exercise — aerobic, flexibility and resistance training — and teaches individuals how each can be used to meet their unique needs and goals.

Administered by One to One Health, the private, physician-led company that manages the Center for Healthy Living on the West Lafayette campus, One to One Fit supports the physical pillar of the Healthy Boiler program.

Attendees of the virtual meetings learn how to use small weights and breathing techniques to properly execute exercises like arm curls, squats and lunges. Individuals also learn how to safely modify the exercises to accommodate any medical concerns or mobility issues. After each class, participants receive printable information sheets they can use to practice the exercises at home. Dobyns-Gross says the materials and weekly sessions helped her learn how to establish and stick to a daily fitness plan.

“By doing something so many times, it creates a habit, so you want to continue to do it,” she says. “Even if it’s eight o’clock at night, I’ll get on the bike if it’s too dark out to go walking. On the days that I don’t have the program sessions, I go and walk on my lunch hour. I can make sure I can get the exercise in that way, and that’s what they’re talking about. You have to make this a priority, and if you don’t, you’re not going to get it accomplished.”

pt-pursuits-dobyns-gross-800x533 Dawn Dobyns-Gross, investigator in the Office of Institutional Equity. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

One to One Fit participants also receive individual coaching sessions at the program’s beginning and end that use fitness tests to help them create and assess their lifestyle goals. The health coaches encourage participants like Dobyns-Gross to maintain their goal-setting behavior even after the program ends.

“I want to look up to somebody,” Dobyns-Gross says. “I want somebody that’s going to help me to reach my goal and is going to provide me with the information that I can do that; somebody who’s doing what they’re telling you to do and sharing why it’s working for them. They’re very energetic; they want people to succeed, and they practice what they preach.”

Since completing the program, Dobyns-Gross has continued to make her health a priority by exercising every day, meal prepping, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and increasing her daily water intake. Although she will always value her time spent working, Dobyns-Gross says Healthy Boiler programs like One to One Fit have helped her live a more fulfilling life.  

“It has helped me a lot to kind of take a moment and take a breath,” Dobyns-Gross says. “Work isn’t everything, but to me, it kind of is. I like working, but my family is really important, too. I think about my daughter and my granddaughter, and I’m not going to be there for them or be here to do my work if I don’t take care of my health.”

How you can participate

Individuals who would like to particpate in One to One Fit should watch the Healthy Boiler Portal for the next session and registration. Details will also be shared as they become available in Purdue Today.

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