My name is Jeanne Harris, I live in Pensacola Florida and am a Registered Nurse at Baptist Hospital 4 West, Cardiac for the last 12 years and co-chair The Health and Wellness Committee. I am so honored to have been recommended to share my fitness journey with Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™.
I am sure my fitness journey will sound a lot like most but it’s as individual as we each are and yet is on a similar path. My journey began while I was studying for my BSN. With the long hours of studying, I had little time to exercise and I put on a few extra pounds. The old saying “Freshman 15” turned into the “Senior 40”. I knew I had to change my life. It was time for me to shed the extra weight and focus on a healthier me.
My fitness/nutrition journey began one day at a time, one block at a time. Taking it slow, running half a block, walking half a block until I could run a full block without stopping, gasping for air. The weeks progressed, the runs got longer until I was able to participate in my first 5K. I was flying! From that point, I was hooked. Fitness became a way of life.
In 2012 I became a Certified Zumba Instructor–a program designed around dance and fitness choreographed for all ages, sizes, fitness levels and those with physical challenges. Zumba made such an impact on me; I furthered my journey and became certified in several Zumba Specialties: Zumba Gold-slower for the elderly and beginners, Zumba Toning-incorporating lightweights for added resistance, Zumba Step-a slightly higher level of cardio output encouraging endurance levels and balance, Zumba Sentao-incorporating the use of a chair and Zumba Strong-a high intensity fitness training. I became a 200-hour certified yoga teacher several years ago which allowed me to stretch and flex my body and my mind. I decided I wanted to help others on their fitness journeys and became a Beachbody coach. Becoming an instructor, teacher, and coach allows me the opportunity to encourage, motivate, and inspire others to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
Staying on the fitness journey has had many obstacles along the way. There are stretches of time that are very productive with major strides and then there are stretches with setbacks that challenge you to be better and more productive. It is important to remember to take care of you. Whatever that means to you as an individual, a caregiver, a nurse. Use the tools you have learned along the way to make healthier lifestyle decisions for you, your loved ones and family.
Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ is so empowering for nurses. Our health comes in many forms, mental, spiritual, financial, physical and nutritional. With help from HNHN we can all achieve our own level of health. The monthly challenges are diversified enough to meet the demands of every nurse as we strive to become better today than we were yesterday.
Jeanne Harris, BSN, RN
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