Spotlight On: Amy Schwartz

August 21, 2013

 

amy schwartz and two adults pictured at an outdoor running event in the summer time.

Director, Health Care Cost Containment
Finance and Administration

Year Started at UNH: 2000

What does health mean to you?: Being able to do the things I want to easily; having more energy, being able to say “yes” when my friends want to go for a bike ride, train for a road race or just go for a walk around the neighborhood. I want to keep up with my kids, my husband (who is very fit) and my dogs. It also means less time at the doctor’s office; that’s my biggest goal!

What do you do to make a Healthy UNH?: I stand up frequently and walk around my desk or my office. I also purposefully park far from my office building, take the stairs and never the elevator—even when I am traveling, I use the hotel stairways. I avoid lunch meetings. I prefer breakfast meetings instead; it’s easier to make healthy choices first thing in the morning!

How do you stay fit?: I do a little bit of everything, and I am always up for trying new things. I take classes, since that’s “scheduled” exercise. I take yoga, aerobics and lift weights. This summer, I did a spin class with my daughter that mixed biking and calisthenics—wow, was that hard! To mix it up, I started running this summer with my neighbor (a buddy helps). I also bike with my husband, walk with friends and tried surfing lessons—I always say yes to keep from being bored.

Do you have any tips for eating healthfully?: I think it helps to cook at home. I always make enough for leftovers so we have plenty of healthy, home cooked food to accommodate our crazy schedules. Eating well takes planning, so I try to always have something in mind for the next meal. I stock up on fruits and vegetables. I avoid pre-packaged or prepared foods. I also make sure that when I buy something that’s a real weakness—like sea salt caramel gelato, I tell my son so he finishes it before I can get a second helping!

How do you find motivation to stay healthy?: I find motivation in my family. All four of us are “gym rats”—I am proud that I often hear my kids talking about their workout plans for the day and we often re-arrange plans to accommodate our family’s workout schedule. This summer, my daughter was training for her college crew team, my son was training for football and my husband and I were just trying to maintain! A highlight this summer was running with my kids in a 5k “Color Run” in Portland Maine. Two teenagers got up and in the car at 6:30 am on a Saturday to go run a road race, now that’s pretty amazing! It was a fun family goal and my son told me it was “cool” to see me running.

Have you made any tangible improvements to your physical or mental well-being by making positive changes in your life?: I do Healthy Returns twice a year and my numbers are always great, which my doctor attributes to my exercise routine.

Anything else you would like to add?: I think starting an exercise routine is the hardest part and if you aren’t an active person, it can be very overwhelming. I think classes are a good plan since they are at a scheduled time, and they are social—after a while people ask where you are and tell you they missed you at class. If I am not in the mood to exercise classes are perfect—someone leads me through and before I know it, it’s over. Just don’t give up!

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