How wellness programs helped a man reach his New Year’s resolution

Heading into 2020 John Giardino did what many of us might also think of doing – he set resolutions around losing weight and improving his health. However, unlike the less than 8% of people who actually stick to their new year’s goals – he was able to lose more than 30 pounds, with the help of a few wellness programs offered through his health plan.

John standing against wall John standing against wall

At 50 years old, John knew he needed to prioritize his health in 2020. That included shedding a few pounds and better management of his diabetes. As a UnitedHealthcare member, he had access to several wellness programs and services to help him meet his goals, including Real Appeal®, Level2® and UnitedHealthcare Motion®.

Through Real Appeal, John was able to take advantage of online coaching and tools to help him set goals and track his weight loss progress. By using Level2, a virtual diabetes management program, coaches and physicians helped motivate him to improve his lifestyle choices through real-time data provided by blood glucose tracking. He believed both programs helped him lose weight and put his diabetes into remission. But he credits Motion as the program that helped motivate him to keep moving all year long. 

John was determined to meet Motion’s three daily activity goals — measured by frequency, intensity and tenacity, also known as FIT goals. Throughout last year, he diligently hit his daily activity targets by walking on the treadmill while watching his favorite TV shows, helping motivate him to lose more than 30 pounds. 

“I have become obsessed with reaching my daily goal and I haven’t missed one yet,” John said. “I still have more weight to lose, and ultimately, the goal of achieving all the FIT requirements keeps me moving.”

Not only does he credit Motion with helping him look and feel better, he also earned financial incentives for his Health Savings Account (HSA) through reaching his daily goals — an added bonus. 

“I know at some point later in life having money in my HSA will be important,” John said. “Learning that my insurance company would also take interest in my future health, it became a no-brainer.” 

As John enters his second year in the program, he’s expanding his fitness routine to take advantage of the program’s additional activities, which may enable him to reach his FIT goals through a variety of workouts. Plus, as a Motion member, he may now have access for at least six months at no additional cost to Apple Fitness+, allowing him to stream studio-style workouts, including high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, dance, core, cycling, treadmill and more. 

If you’re looking for ways to help achieve your 2021 fitness resolutions, like John, consider these three tips: 

  1. Start small
    Unrealistic, major lifestyle changes, like working out twice a day and cutting out all junk food, may make it hard to achieve your goals. Starting smaller, with maintainable changes, may give you a greater chance for success. For example, John stuck with hitting his daily walking goals last year, so this year he’s hoping to mix in some higher-intensity workouts, too. 
  2. Stay accountable
    There may be many ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals. Consider writing them down, aligning them with a friend or signing up for a wellness program like Motion. Check with your health plan or employer to see if they offer incentives or programs for pursuing healthy habits.
  3. Keep it interesting 
    Doing the same workouts may get boring, which may lead to a lack of motivation to keep going. Experiment with different types of fitness activities, like yoga, rowing or online workout classes. Mixing it up may help keep it fun while also working different muscle groups. 

Setting a New Year’s resolution may be a great way to start improving your health and well-being, but it may be easy to slip-up and feel discouraged. Remember to be kind to yourself as you begin to form new healthier habits. We believe you’ll find what works best for you.

*Real AppealLevel2 and UnitedHealthcare Motion results may vary and health results are not guaranteed.