Are you tired of not feeling your best? Are you ready to take a step toward better health?

Columbus Community Hospital (CCH) is offering the Complete Health Improvement Program (CHIP), an affordable lifestyle enrichment program which can help you feel your best.

CHIP is designed to reduce disease risk factors through lifestyle modification. The goal of CHIP to lower participants’ blood cholesterol, hypertension, and blood sugar levels and reduce their excess weight. To do this, the program encourages participants to improve their dietary choices, increase their daily exercise, enhance their support systems and decrease stress. These, and other lifestyle improvements, can help prevent and reduce disease.

CCH offers two CHIP classes four times a year. CHIP courses are offered in 18, one-hour sessions over three months. In these courses, participants learn about positive lifestyle changes through entertaining, educational video sessions and discussions.

The program is offered by CCH to the public for a nominal fee, which includes the 18 educational sessions, three separate blood draws, an electronic textbook, electronic cookbook and electronic exercise book (with the option to purchase paper copies).

CHIP courses are offered in a group setting, with a maximum class size of 20. This creates an ideal environment for communication, trust and fellowship.

In CCH’s CHIP, participants are taught about better eating and are encouraged to bring healthy recipes to share during class. They are also given a grocery store tour early in their journey, so they can learn which foods are best for their health.

But food is not the only focus of CCH’s CHIP. This program is unique in the fact it addresses the many components of a healthy life, not just food/diet. CHIP is a true lifestyle intervention program which touches on participants’ overall health.

In the program, participants learn about the physiology of stress and how their bodies respond to it, how exercise impacts their cells and how they can practice relaxation responses to improve their blood pressure. They will also be given information about how anger increases cortisol levels, which increase blood pressure and how important fiber is to their gut microbiome, a new area of study in medicine.

This information, along with the health tips provided in the sessions, will give participants a better understanding of their own health – so they can better manage it.

CHIP is part of a changing culture in medicine which focuses on how people’s lifestyles affect their heath. CCH is at the forefront of this new health movement and more than 150 community members have already graduated from our CHIP program in the last two and a half years.

We invite you to join us on the CHIP journey toward better health. Our next CHIP session starts on January 7, 2019, which gives you the perfect opportunity to start off the New Year in a healthy way.

Please contact CCH’s Occupational Health Services at 402-562-4480 to learn more about CHIP or to register for the program. Additional information about CHIP is also available at www.columbushosp.org.

Kelli Thomazin, PA-C, is with Columbus Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Clinic.

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