By promoting what it calls "Viral Wellness," LoneStart is proving that wellness, like illness, can be contagious, and is challenging both political parties and all candidates running for national, state and local office to embrace a practical and patriotic solution to our country's current health care crisis.
"We are at a point in this country where a national campaign is needed to help people realize that they have the opportunity and the ability to make positive and realistic changes in their daily lifestyle choices," says Seifert. "The solution to our health care crisis is prevention, and that will only happen when at-risk individuals are informed, motivated and challenged with a positive, realistic and forgiving opportunity to change their behavior."
The concept of Viral Wellness grew out of LoneStart's experience that wellness is contagious. "We came to realize that most of us want to be well, and if we have a reasonable expectation of success, we will make positive changes in our daily choices regarding our health. Once we prove to ourselves we can be successful, we tend to become enthusiastic advocates for the strategy that helped us meet our goals and we "spread" wellness on to family and friends," says Seifert.
As an example of LoneStart's effectiveness, Seifert says that of just the rural and community hospitals that have implemented the LoneStart Wellness strategy, more than 8,000 pounds have been lost and body mass index (BMI) has been reduced from between .5 to more than 6 points.
"For the past three years, LoneStart Wellness has been making a difference in several of our member hospitals. They have demonstrated that people will respond to the opportunity to make positive choices when those choices are based on valid and easy-to-apply behavior modification principles as they work toward establishing long-term behavior change. What started as a grassroots effort has grown into an effective strategy for lasting change based on individual accountability and teamwork," says
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Seifert adds that waiting for government intervention to create programs to do what each of us already has the power to change for ourselves, is not a viable option. "By promoting our individual and collective responsibility to change unhealthy behaviors as a personal and patriotic duty, each of us becomes empowered to make our own long term health a priority while at the same time, dramatically reducing the burden currently being placed on our health care system. LoneStart Wellness will continue to demonstrate that with imagination, vision and initiative, a low-cost grassroots effort can move us toward a permanent, new culture of wellness."
The LoneStart Wellness Initiative is based on the premise that each of us must take personal responsibility to make better nutritional choices and become more physically active. The behavior-based strategy provides participants with the opportunity and tools to make modest yet meaningful changes that lead to long term, sustainable results. Visit their Web site at http://www.lonestartnow.com