One family shares tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle
We’ve all been here: It’s the new year, you’ve eaten too many Christmas cookies, you’re supposed to make a resolution, and it often ends up being health-related—train for a 5k, cut out sweets or lose 10 pounds. But how many of us stick with it? Add in various stressors such as a busy job or family members who don’t want to eat the same things, and this well-intentioned resolution can become overwhelming enough to make you quit in just a matter of days without even realizing it.
Ryan Radaker, who’s been involved in fitness her entire life, and Kyle Radaker, who’s been involved for the past 25 years and currently works at Eco Fitness, knew implementing healthy habits in their home was a must. Ryan has three daughters—a 10-year-old and twins who are six.
They derived the idea for their business as they looked to their own blended family’s wellness practices and wondered what they could do to help other families give children healthy examples amidst the chaos of everyday life.
Thus, Radaker Health and Wellness was born in January 2016.
Their approach is one step at a time and involves the entire home and family, not just the individual. The mission is to “help people achieve higher levels of fitness, become educated in nutrition, strengthen their faith, find balance in the entire “wellness wheel,” and achieve a healthy “self” …inside and out.”
The business operates on a three-step process: The “what,” “why” and “how.” The “what” is the goal—the question everyone should be asking themselves. Once the goal is set, Kyle asks for the “why,” “It’s gotta be personal, important, attainable and achievable. It helps us personalize it more.”
The next question is “how.” How can you achieve your goal and what’s the best program for doing so?
“We like to involve people in that process, because if we tell somebody here’s what you’re going to do: go to the gym, eat this, then they may give up on the whole program. Instead, we find out what they can find in their life to impact change for themselves,” Kyle explains.
One of Kyle’s favorite expressions is, “Ink it, don’t think it.” He has clients write down their commitment because he feels that doing so will make them more liable to stick with it.
Once people have figured out their fitness and wellness plans, the other aspect is assessments which take place in the “RadLab.” These are done to measure success, rather than relying on a scale.
“We like to look at body composition and use a device called the Inbody scale. We then do a simple blood profile assessment and a full battery of metabolic testing, which lets us determine exactly the number of calories that should be eaten daily in regards to how many are burned,” Kyle says.
“The tests help them formulate their “how.” It takes it from an objective way of looking at fitness, and funnels it down to make it very subjective,” Kyle says.
Aside from encouraging fitness, there’s also the healthy eating aspect. Kyle and Ryan don’t recommend diets or restricting certain food groups all together. Instead, they suggest making small tweaks at a time emphasizing lean, organic meats and dairy with lots of fruits and vegetables. Ryan stresses if you can’t shop organic for everything, get the organic meat and dairy at least.
A fun tip Ryan shared was to always try to shop the outside perimeter of the grocery store, where the naturally grown food is, rather than going up and down the aisles, where the processed food lives.
Cooking is one of the opportunities the family uses to get the girls involved. Ryan notes that the kids like to eat the food more when they’ve helped participate in its preparation. To keep your meals feeling fun and fresh, Ryan recommends recipe swapping, “Something you’ve been making seems old to you, but new to someone else.”
Living in Mount Pleasant, the Radakers take advantage of the great weather offered here. Kyle notes this makes it easier to get outside. He likes this to be people’s first goal: be active for an hour each day. He recommends walking the bridge, walk or bike trails, or head to the beach. “If you’re getting out and moving, that’s a start,” he says.
This year, when you write your resolutions, remember your “what,” “why” and “how.” Following the Radakers’ tips and approaches may be what helps you get your health on track.