Can you connect me to RiseVT healthy activities? I am ready to get started!

Yes! I am thrilled you are hearing about RiseVT! The scorecard would be a perfect start. The RiseVT “scorecards” have been designed by the Community Committee on Healthy Lifestyles (right here in our own community) based on research and evidence-based best practices. They provide an easy and engaging way for individuals, families, businesses, schools, and even municipalities to celebrate their existing healthy habits, identify possible improvements, and track their progress towards a healthier lifestyle. With that path promising the enjoyment of new things and ultimately more energy and better health, there is no time like now to start! Best of all, there is no losing with these scorecards. Regardless of what your initial score is, what matters most is that you are moving forward on your journey to a healthier you.

You will find the RiseVT scorecards online at www.RiseVT.com. They provide a variety of suggestions for healthy activities and habits that can be tracked over a three-month period. Each card has three levels: a Bronze level (where healthy habits are being explored), a Silver level (where healthy habits are being adopted), and a Gold level (where healthy habits have become your lifestyle). Whenever you are ready within that three month period, you can submit your scorecard to the RiseVT team and earn recognition for the level you have achieved! With the official launch of RiseVT on June 1, our first scorecard submission due date is September 1, 2015. Can you be Bronze by then? Silver? Gold? Going to the website (or calling RiseVT Coordinator Dorey Demers at 524-8825) and getting your scorecard is your first step. Think how good you will feel as you make little changes that add up and improve your health!

The beauty of RiseVT’s approach is meeting each person, family, business, school, and municipality where they are and encouraging and supporting them on their individual path to better health. Many will start by experimenting with small changes. Be easy on yourself. Remember that even a small improvement is success!  Some may be ready to tackle things which seem big and that is great too. You may well find that things that seemed “big” at first become easily achievable over time. What kind of things show up on the scorecards? For individuals and families, the scorecard starts with the simple step of taking the RiseVT pledge to working towards a healthier lifestyle.  The scorecards include strategies like keeping a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter so the easy choice becomes the healthy choice, as well as things like trying new recipes, taking time to dance to your favorite song, and creating a smoke-free zone inside your house. You do not have to adopt all the habits all at once – remember, it’s a journey on the path to better health.

The scorecards work similarly for businesses, schools, and municipalities. These scorecards address strategies which can help improve health organization-wide. How do your policies impact the health of your employees, students, or residents? Does the culture encourage healthy choices? Is work/life balance encouraged? Do people have access to resources to help with their personal journeys such as a wellness program? There are so many ways organizations of all types and sizes can help encourage better health within their walls and throughout our community and the RiseVT scorecards map out many ways to do so. The RiseVT team will help and can connect you to additional resources as well. Better health can translate into improved morale, decreased absenteeism, and improved performance and productivity, so there are solid business reasons for organizations to get involved.

Best of all, in RiseVT you are not alone. The RiseVT team of Health Coaches and Health Advocates are here to help support you and celebrate your efforts. They’ll be organizing “Show Up” events (next one is 6:30am on Wednesday, June 10 in Taylor Park in St. Albans), appearing at community events (see RiseVT.com for times and places including Lake Carmi and Sandbar State Park in June), working at area organizations, and connecting with people online and through social media (like them on Facebook for chances to win daily prizes in June). You just have to try our bicycle smoothie making operation! RiseVT is for all ages and all abilities. It is about all of us taking our next step towards a healthier lifestyle. With more than 300 people involved already, our community is beginning to Rise.

No time like the present to catch the wellness wave!

— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer