Mike was told he would never walk again after a near-fatal head-on collision with a semi. Dennis was 200 pounds overweight, had undergone three surgeries and was taking 13 prescription medications per day. Sandra simply wanted to get in better shape in order to prevent the diabetes and heart disease her family is prone to.There are as many different reasons to make changes to diet and exercise habits as there are people. No matter your age or size, chances are, there is something about yourself you would like to improve. Thinking beyond the “you” of today, physical fitness is important for the “you” of the future. Being Proactive is Key for Better Health Better physical fitness can prevent accidents as well, or at least minimize the damage they cause. Steven Harrity, Physical Therapist, Owner and President of Cameron Park Physical Therapy, works with people in his wellness center who want to lose weight or otherwise improve their health. Harrity notes that with the rising levels of obesity in the country, there is also an increase in the number of people who are proactively improving their health before accidents or diseases affect them.“The better physical condition you’re in, the less chance you have of falls or other accidents,” says Harrity. He points out that increased muscle and ligament strength and improved balance all contribute to this, and protects your bones if you do have an accident. Harrity’s practice also works with many seniors for the same reason. As we age, changes to our inner ears and eyes cause changes to our balance, increasing the risk of falls. “We work with all [body] systems to help them be more stable. When they fall, they lose confidence and become more sedentary and homebound, which makes them more likely to fall [again].” With increased physical fitness, this vicious cycle can be broken. Roseville Health and Wellness is equally committed to helping clients achieve their best possible fitness level. “Our goal is to make Roseville the healthiest community in America. We provide a unique combination of medical, rehabilitation, and fitness services allowing each individual to achieve total body wellness,” states Jeff DeRaps, President RHWC, Inc.An Alarming TrendAccording to the American Medical Association, obesity is the number two preventable cause of death in the United States, after smoking and before alcohol abuse. Causes of obesity include poor dietary choices, an increasingly inactive lifestyle, genetics and socioeconomic strata. Of course, the management of one’s diet is fundamental to healthy weight. As important as dietary choices, if not more so, is maintaining a healthy amount of physical exercise. Jobs in the United States are increasingly sedentary as much of our physical labor is transitioned off shore and even the normal labor of office work is reduced through increased automation. These are minor changes, but they add up to a tendency toward being inactive and, ultimately, to weight gain.Vowing to lose weight or to achieve better muscle tone is easy. We all do it with the best of intentions, making New Year’s resolutions every year to lose “X” amount of weight or to take up jogging. The hard part, it turns out, is actually doing anything about it. Style recently had the opportunity to speak with a few admirable people who not only made the vow to achieve better health, but who had the discipline to take the necessary steps. Some made the choice to achieve better health, but in one case the choice was made for him. Here are their stories.Sandra MirandaSandra works with the Department of Corrections. She has been with them for 18 years, 13 of them as a Corrections Officer. She knows her family history and she saw that genetically, she is prone not only to being overweight, but to Type 2 diabetes and all of the related health problems that come with that disease. She knew she did not want to risk her health any further and acknowledged that she was already heading down that path with the choices she was making regarding her diet and exercise. What was Sandra’s response to this? She took a very logical and proven path to better health. She started by going to Weight Watcher’s meetings. They offered her a framework for her weight-loss project with a proven system, and they provided her a great support group of like-minded individuals seeking similar goals to her own. Then, to step up her weight loss and improve her strength and flexibility, she went to Snap Fitness in El Dorado Hills to get some guidance for her physical regimen. There she met Sonya, her personal trainer, and got the motivation she needed to go to the gym on a regular basis and to continue working toward her goal. Also at Snap Fitness, Sandra attended a course on eating good foods – what you should and should not eat to achieve better health. “You need to avoid the processed foods,” Sandra shared. “Processed foods are terrible for you.” Sandra is on her way. Her initial goal was to drop 50 pounds and to achieve overall better fitness. So far, she has lost 20 pounds and is well on her way to her goal! Sandra says, “The hardest part is finding the motivation to get into the gym! But, once you are there, you know what to do!"...Anyone who truly wants to make a change can find a way to do it, and we here at Style wish you all the luck and success in the world.