Fitness and Nutrition at the Forefront of Alaris Health

Rahway, NJ, September 8, 2016 – At Alaris Health, staying active and leading a healthy lifestyle are of the utmost importance for promoting overall well-being for our team members and residents alike. We shined a spotlight on four very active team members who not only live healthy, but also inspire others through their examples.

Regional CTRS Director Yvonne O’Shea has been active throughout her life, swimming, running and hiking. But it was fellow co-worker Kristine Riecker who motivated her to take her fitness to the next level. “She empowered me to train for a race, any race, to become fit for life,” she reflected. “I chose triathlons because of my love for swimming and running and to take on a new challenge – biking – which was out of my comfort zone. I finished my second triathlon this year and plan to complete three next year.”

(Yvonne after finishing a triathlon)

(Yvonne after finishing a triathlon)

Yvonne sees connections between staying active and her job every day. “After 28+ years in the healthcare industry, I’ve seen many illnesses related to poor health that could’ve been mitigated or eliminated by eating healthy and regular exercise. Staying active to reduce the potential for illness constantly motivates me. The weight loss that has come with staying fit is great, but the long-term health benefits are far superior. Plus, training maintains my mental health, keeping me sharp and focused on my goals. The colleague who inspired Yvonne to start doing races, Kristine Riecker, Regional RD and a registered dietitian, makes it a priority to set a good example for everyone in her life by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle and staying active. “I can’t tell you how many times people will say to me, ‘I don’t know how to eat right’, or ‘I am too busy to exercise’. I do not believe these are excuses, I believe there are obstacles. And they can be overcome.” She shared three pieces of advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

(Kristine Riecker after running the NYC half marathon this past March)

(Kristine Riecker after running the NYC half marathon this past March)

  1. Make a schedule and stick to it. “My schedule is unpredictable, so I run before work. The best thing about exercising in the morning is you become smug! You feel great all day and are unlikely to do something to undo that hard work.”
  2. Use competition as a motivation. “I run competitively at least once a month, anything from a 5k,10k, half or full marathon. I am always competing against myself looking for a new PB (personal best).”
  3. Track your activity. “Before fitness bands or apps became popular, I used to record everything in a journal – routes, time, weather conditions, what I wore and ate and anything else that may have contributed to my performance.”

Deb Hall, the administrator at Alaris Health at West Orange, makes time in her busy life to fuel her passion for running. “As a Master’s Prepared Registered Dietitian and single mother of three (grown) kids, I run not for my health, though that’s a positive, but because that is just what I do. I work hard, run hard and take care of my family – and those all go hand in hand.” Deb runs six days a week and competes on the top Master’s running team in New Jersey.

 

(Deb Hall mid-run during marathons)

(Deb Hall mid-run during marathons)

Over at Alaris Health at Riverton, Paul McGinley RN runs marathons to motivate himself to set and accomplish new fitness goals. “I completed my first sprint distance triathlon back in 2009, and have since completed Olympic distance, half-Ironman distance and the NYC Marathon,” he explained. “My favorite is the iconic San Francisco Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, which I just completed for the sixth time! We start at Alcatraz prison and swim from the same spot where the three prisoners attempted their legendary escape. Then it’s 22 miles biking up and down some crazy San Francisco hills and finishing with an eight-mile run. Having a race on the calendar pushes me to train and maintain a healthy lifestyle. My wish is to continue this fitness journey for as long as I possibly can.”

 

(Paul McGinley during the 2012 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon)

For many, staying active is a value that is passed on to their kids. “The running gene must have been passed on to my youngest, who runs for the Seton Hall University Cross-Country Team,” said Deb. And Paul was able to share a special moment with his daughter because of fitness. “When my daughter had to get her running time down for her school soccer try-outs, she asked me to help her train. That was a pleasantly unexpected surprise that makes the work all worthwhile.”

For Yvonne, she aims to inspire others just like Kristine inspired her. “If I change one person’s thoughts on getting fit, then I have accomplished my goal of inspiring others.”


About Alaris Health

Alaris statewide network of independently owned and operated Member Health Centers offers a wide variety of services across a continuum of care, ranging from short-term post-hospital rehabilitation and long-term care specialized care.

Each Member Health Center is licensed to use the Alaris Health name and receive non-health related services. All health care related services are provided solely by each independently owned and operated Member Health Center.

For more information, please visit www.alarishealth.com or call (855)7-ALARIS for more information.