A new year is a fresh start, and for many of us, the events of 2020 have provided even more incentive to make some healthier changes in 2021. If you’re eager to adopt new habits but don’t know where to begin, consider the opportunities available through UD Health via the Health Coaching Clinic, the Nutrition Clinic and Exercise Counseling

Heath coaching can assist with making health behavior changes. Focusing on what patients can actively do to improve their health promotes self-responsibility. UD clinical health coaches work with clients virtually and over the phone, focusing on areas including stress management, time management, sleep, physical activity and healthy eating strategies. To learn more, listen to this podcast featuring Tara Leonard, clinical health coach and director of UD Clinical Health Coaching and Research. If you are interested, contact health-coaching@udel.edu or call (302) 831-3891.

Registered dietitian nutritionists at the UD Health Nutrition Clinic also are available for telehealth nutrition counseling appointments. Telehealth counseling can address nutrition concerns for most health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, weight loss, eating disorders and many others. These services are covered by most major insurance companies, including Medicare, Aetna and Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Call the UD Health Nurse Managed Primary Care Center at (302) 831-3195 or email nutrition-clinic@udel.edu to request an appointment.     

Exercise counseling is a free program offered by clinical exercise physiologists at UD Health. This program is currently 100% virtual and includes two visits. The team reviews the client’s health history, goals and resources, then develops an individualized exercise/fitness program to best fit their needs. Clinical exercise physiologists and graduate students specialize in developing effective, evidence based exercise programs for healthy adults as well as those with chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. To learn more, contact Brittany Glazar at bglazar@udel.edu or (302) 831-0940.

Diane Beneck, a clinical health coach and instructor in the Department of Behavioral Health and Nutrition, offers these tips to help you get started in the right frame of mind, no matter your goals:  

Start small. The idea of creating a new healthier habit is to meet yourself where you are and move forward in incremental steps. Aim for a little progress each day! 

Make it enjoyable. When starting a new habit, try attaching it to something you already enjoy. Want to walk more but walking is not your favorite thing? Try walking while listening to your favorite music or hop on the treadmill and watch your favorite television show.

Make it easy. Set up your environment to support you. Put those walking shoes by the door, pack your lunch the night before and put away that cell phone before bed.

Have fun. Creating healthier habits can be done in a positive and non judgemental way. Focus on what you want to add into your day rather than what you want to take away. Celebrate all wins!


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