Healthy Horizons

Success Stories

­­­AndyRyan-OutsideBUPDAndy Ryan

Andy Ryan works busy days as Assistant Chief of Police for Administration of the Butler University Police Department. To support his personal wellness and exercise goals, he has been an active participant in both Healthy Horizons and the Health and Recreation Complex ever since those facilities opened at Butler.

Here is Andy's story, in his own words.

How have Healthy Horizons’ annual wellness consults helped you? ~ Show response

I took advantage of Healthy Horizons from the very beginning, when it was first implemented.

I've always been pretty physically active and tried to work toward my own goals. Sometimes I've been successful-sometimes not so much. Healthy Horizons has helped me identify ways to get to goals. Staff members have gotten me to think a bit outside the box, when I'd get in a routine of exercise.

For example, if my goal was to lose weight, they've talked about adjusting how I work out. They'd say, "It's good to run for 30 minutes, but maybe you should run for 45." Or, "Maybe you shouldn't run this day. Maybe you should work on a different type of activity, do some weight training to change it up."

They've helped me develop healthier eating habits. I always felt that I have eaten pretty healthily, but sometimes I would get off track. Having the consultations with Healthy Horizons has helped me identify areas I've done well in and areas I need to improve in.

What I really like is that the pharmacists and students working with Healthy Horizons have never been judgmental or critical. They might probe a bit as to what I'm doing for exercise or eating, but I've never had anyone get on me about it. They will say, "You've done well in this area" or "Let's discuss ways you can improve on that." They are concerned in a positive way.

The other area that's been really beneficial for me has been the Healthy Horizons health screenings-checking on cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and other health issues. I've gone away from doing just the annual consults. I've been going for screenings about every three months.

I'm consistent about seeing my personal physician annually. Healthy Horizons supplements that.

How has the Butler University Wellness Stipend offered through Healthy Horizons helped with health goals? ~ Show response

I've been a member of the Health and Recreation Complex (HRC) since it opened. It's convenient. I can take my lunchtime to work out or go before work. I don't have to worry about traveling somewhere else.

I would use the HRC regardless [of the stipend]. But, as a way to defer overall costs, I think it's a great benefit from the University. It would be silly of me not to take advantage of it.

My goal is to go to the HRC five days a week, depending on what's going on with work. On average, I'm there at least three days a week, and usually work out for 30 to 40 minutes. Even in the summertime, it's not always easy to get out of the office for the time you want.

When I was younger, I did a lot of lifting. Most of the stuff I do now is cardio. I just had an appointment with Healthy Horizons a couple weeks ago, and they talked about modifying that, maybe doing more weight training to supplement the cardio.


Learn more about the Butler University Wellness HRC Stipend.

What are some obstacles you have faced in maintaining healthy habits? ~ Show response

Weight is always something I try to manage. I have stayed pretty consistent in my weight. I'd like to weigh less, but losing weight's not always easy. I'm less motivated to stay on strategic eating.

A while back, I had gone to my doctor, and my cholesterol was high, so my doctor prescribed some medication. I was taking it, and then I was able to go back to Healthy Horizons before my next annual with the doctor. They said, "Your cholesterol is fine. What have you done?"

I told them I'd lost some weight and wasn't eating certain foods. They suggested that I book some time with my doctor to confirm the numbers because they believed that I didn't need to be taking medication any longer because of the things I'd done.

What did you do to overcome those obstacles? ~ Show response

Healthy Horizons has told me weight-loss is a matter of less calorie intake and more calorie burn-off. They've discussed eating healthy throughout the day, incorporating some fruit and vegetables as a mid-afternoon snack as a way to not have so many calories.

But then, how do I modify my burn-off through working out? I do pretty good Monday through Friday, but on weekends when I'm home, things can go out the window. I still eat pretty healthy, but I don't have a regimented workout routine during weekends. So, Healthy Horizons has suggested some things I can do over the weekend to make up the difference.

What keeps you motivated? ~ Show response

My father died at a relatively young age. He was 67 and had an illness he couldn't prevent. I want to be healthier so I can hopefully live longer than that. That's a motivator for me. I come from a family history in which the majority of the men live longer than that. Genetically, that's a good thing.

Typically, it's not that I'm not motivated to go to the gym. It depends on what's going on during the day. Can I fit it into my schedule?  The majority of days, I can.

For me, it's good stress release to get away from the office and be physically active.

When I've been the most successful is when I've been able to run outside. It's a different type of workout than running on a treadmill, especially in the nicer weather. It's also convenient to put on the headphones and watch television while I'm running inside.

What health tips do you have for others at Butler? ~ Show response

Plan your menu. When I've been the most successful-and it's probably the most challenging-is when I've sat down and planned a menu for all my meals for the week. It helped when it came to shopping for groceries; it helped in reaching a weight-loss goal.

Get active daily. Try to do something every day. Some Butler employees walk every day during lunch. Not everyone's job allows them to do that, but just try to carve out some time for activity. 

Ask the HRC staff. If you're just getting started with exercising in the HRC and are unsure what will work best for you, take a few minutes to talk to the staff. They are very helpful. They'll work with you to start developing a program. Let them know: This is what you'd like to do as far as health goals. Ask how you can do that utilizing the equipment there. The HRC also has personal trainers, and they offer specific group programs, like their boot camps. Those would be a good way to change things up.

Find a workout partner. I had a colleague that I use to run with almost every day, but he doesn't work here any more. Having a workout partner can be a motivator, especially if you're working on the same kind of goals.