Understanding what my #HealthyMe looks like

LaTonya Baldwin

I joined BCBSM in 2009 and in early 2010; I took on the role of facilitator for a fitness group challenge in my department. I’m social and was quite chunky, so leading and participating was a win-win for me.

One of the first hurdles I had to face in pursuing a healthy lifestyle at this stage in my life was defining what that lifestyle looked like. For me, it looks different than it did in my 20s, 30s and 40s. And different isn’t bad, but I needed to acknowledge the difference so I could continue to enjoy the benefits of good health and a body that is amazingly good to me.

In late 2010, when Blue Cross launched an employee wellness program that included sponsoring a walking program, I joined. I also jumped at the chance to have a health plan that rewarded me for being healthy.

Since being at the Blues, I have run a 5k for American Heart Association, climbed 70 flights of steps for American Lung Association and walked for AIDS. I’ve taken Zumba and boot camp on-site and my latest fitness adventure is boxing!

What are the differences for me in my middle years than the previous decades? First, I developed high blood pressure.  Being African American and having a family history of high blood pressure, I knew I was at risk. I worked with my doctor, modified my diet, lost almost thirty pounds and kept moving.

In 2010, I busted my knee and that required surgery. Since then, I’ve developed arthritis in my left knee and foot. Today, jogging is no longer an option. I see spinning in my near future.

When I was younger, I thought yoga was too tame and I believed I wasn’t flexible enough to practice. Today, I look forward to sunrise yoga and we converted our second bedroom to a yoga and grandbaby room.

Did I mention that I’m a new granny? I no longer have the time or the desire to spend over an hour in a gym. Instead, I want my workouts fast and intense. Give me HIIT (high intensity interval training) and yoga and a boxing mat, and I’m a happy, healthy, inspired granny.

LaTonya Baldwin is a health and fitness enthusiast and works for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as a customer service representative. 

This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme

Photo credit: LaTonya Baldwin

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