The first weekend of this February saw the 2nd annual event put on by UCHealth promoting women’s wellness called “Evrē”. Evrē is essentially a self-care Saturday “with a goal setting workshop, fitness class options and a keynote panel; plus drop-in health screenings, light breakfast and refreshments.”
The event was held at the UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, so it was there that the women of Colorado found themselves on the same indoor training field that the Denver Broncos use to practice. In the middle of a gentle yoga class led by Gina Caputo, the yogis and participants of the wellness event sent loving thoughts to our Denver Broncos in hopes of a more successful season this upcoming year.
And that same sentiment could be carried out for everyone throughout the entirety of the all-day event: success in the new year and how to treat our bodies better in order to engage in our lives fully. Before Jacki Carr kicked off the event with a powerful vision and goals presentation, I sat down with Dr. Julia Kavanagh, an Internal Medicine doctor for UCHealth and we discussed the top five things that she recommends for women’s wellness:
According to Dr. Kavanagh, “50 percent of women in Colorado actually don’t have time to exercise.” But, she maintains that since our bodies were made to move it is imperative that we find ways to do so. It can look different for everyone — Dr. Kavanagh is a big fan of walking! But she notes that “you need to pick up your pace!” The reason being that “one of the health risks for women that a lot of people don’t talk about is Osteoporosis. Throughout our lives, what we call weight bearing exercise — which is not sitting down and lifting weights, but actually where you pick your feet up and put them down at a force greater than usual strolling — helps maintain our bone health.” Dr. Kavanagh stressed that you don’t have to go to the gym, Colorado is a wonderful place that provides a variety of outdoor exercises! She also noted that things like parking your car further from the grocery store or your work is helpful, along with taking the stairs and playing with your kids at the park after their practices.
Dr. Kavanagh said that maintenance throughout a woman’s life is so important, and this includes vaccines! She said, “vaccines are one of the top evidence-based, highly researched thing we can do to prevent disease.” She stressed the importance of the HPV vaccine that is usually administered when girls are 11 or 12 because that is when their immune system is strongest. At age 21 it is recommended that women start getting Pap smears every three years until they are 30, when it is then recommended every five years. These timelines are assuming that every Pap smear is normal. Depending on a woman’s breast density and her family history at age 40 (or some even say 50), it is recommended that a woman gets a mammogram every one to two years. And finally at age 50 it is time to schedule a colonoscopy.
More and more we are learning that mental health is a physical health and really can affect the quality of a person’s life and that’s why it is so important to make good lifestyle choices: exercise, get regular sleep, eat healthy nutritious food and do other things that can help alleviate anxiety and depression like meditation and yoga.
Finding Joy in Life
Every day if you can. Even just a little bit when we go through the really difficult times, it is still so important to find joy in life. It’s also important to evade feelings of loneliness (remember it’s ok to be alone, but feeling lonely is different). Long term loneliness impacts our physical and mental health. Events like the Evrē Event can help alleviate some of these feelings by getting out there and meeting people, moving together, getting a free massage and laughing over commonalities.
If unfortunately chronic illness finds you, it is important to have a wellness team and have people that are dedicated to helping you maintain some semblance of your normal life.
And the 6th tip for good measure, because it is Colorado after all: Water!
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated!
After our quick sit down, Dr. Kavanagh and I were both free to enjoy all the day had to offer. Jacki Carr really brought the laughter and the “a-ha” moments as we delved into the power of knowing what we want and creating goals from a place firmly rooted in our values and the clarity of our vision.
From there the group divided into two and either did the NUFit cardio workout with the creator of The Method, Natalie Uhling (and an accompanying instructor Angela Wood); or they went with Jillian Keaveny, co-founder of Compass Fitness, and did a workout targeting their buns and guns with resistance bands and Sound Off Colorado headphones.
The group rejoined to be led through a gentle vinyasa yoga class with Gina Caputo, the founder and director of the Colorado School of Yoga.
And lastly, there was a panel facilitated by Jacki Carr that included three powerhouse women: Amy Jo Martin, a New York Times bestselling author and host of the “Why Not Now?” Podcast; Jessica Mendoza, a two time Olympia, who now serves as an analyst on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball; and lastly, a woman who chose to make Colorado her home: Emily Schromm, a former reality TV star turned personal trainer, nutritional therapist and host of the “Meathead Hippie” podcast. The ladies covered everything from being heard in a man’s world, powerful pivot moments in their lives and having choice in how you treat yourself and the way that you make yourself a priority.
I was able to grab a couple of minutes with Emily Schromm after the panel and she spoke about how her own journey to wellness began with her gut health, skin issues and realizing the way food was impacting her mental health. EmFit Challenge is her nutrition company if you are looking for a place to learn more and start your journey!
UCHealth put on quite the event, my sister and I left with some nice samples from the vendors, our workout completed and with a fresh perspective to carry us through 2019. We are looking forward to next year’s event!
To find all of the magical people who made this day possible, here are their Instagram handles and websites:
UCHealth: @uchealth, https://www.uchealth.org
Jacki Carr: @jackicarr, https://www.jackicarr.com/
Amy Jo Martin: @amyjomartin, http://amyjomartin.com/
Emily Schromm: @emilyschromm, https://www.emilyschromm.com/
Jessica Mendoza: @jessmendoza2
Natalie Uhling: @natalieuhling, https://natalieuhlingfitness.com/
NUFit Instructor: Angela Wood, @ange_wood
Jillian Keaveny: @jilliankeaveny, https://www.jilliankeaveny.com/
Gina Caputo: @yoginiontheloose, https://www.ginacaputo.com/
Photo credit: Jen Ross Commercial Photo & Video Producer