Motivator Midweek: Want to make an impact in our community?  Become a Leader – Brainerd Dispatch

Motivator Midweek: Want to make an impact in our community? Become a Leader – Brainerd Dispatch

Crow Wing Energized offers a variety of classes throughout the year that focus on maintaining and improving a healthy lifestyle, including Aging, Matter of Balance, NDPP/Lifestyle Change (National Diabetes Prevention Program) and SAIL (Stay Active and Independent for Life).

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is a community-based lifestyle change program offering diabetes prevention education and support to people with prediabetes. NDPP/Lifestyle Change course participants learn how to create a healthier lifestyle and prevent diabetes. Groups meet with a trained trainer to help participants lose weight, eat healthier and increase physical activity. There are 16 sessions offered over six months and six monthly follow-up sessions for the rest of the year. Each session lasts one hour.

Peggy Norman

Prediabetes involves blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diabetes. A person with prediabetes can delay or prevent type 2 diabetes by making simple lifestyle changes. Diet and moderate exercise that result in a 5-7% weight loss (usually 10-15 kg) often work to lower blood sugar levels into a healthy range.

Many of our classes are led by volunteers who started out as class participants. Today we’d like to introduce you to two of our NDPP coaches: Peggy Norman and Karen Gruenwald.

When asked about their role with Crow Wing Energized, Peggy said, “I was so inspired the year I took the NDPP that I decided to train as a coach alongside a woman who was in the same class.”

Some choose to co-coach a class, while others may prefer to lead alone, Peggy chose to co-coach with Jama Davidson. “I’m co-teaching with the same colleague I started with in 2019. It’s great because she’s knowledgeable in ways I’m not, and we can bounce ideas and problems off each other. We also cover for each other if someone is unable to attend. He might connect better with someone in the class and pick up on something I don’t, and vice versa. It’s hard to stay committed to teaching a class weekly for four months and then monthly for an additional six months, but that’s why I co-teach.”

The level of commitment required varies by class, but for the NDPP, Peggy explained, “The curriculum takes you through the process and Kara is wonderful at guiding you. There is some preparation for each week’s lesson and a bit of paperwork as well.’ Peggy also highlighted: “When people share their diet, weight, activity level and health concerns, they are sharing such an intimate and complex part of their lives. It is an honor to be a part of this and the process they decide to take personally to improve their health. No one is requiring you to take the class and make that commitment, so it makes it a fun class too!”

Karen also mentioned, “Hearing the positive responses and feedback from the participants makes it all worth it.”

Jama Davidson

Jama Davidson.

He contributed

When Peggy and Karen were asked what they would say to someone considering volunteering with Crow Wing Energized, they both enthusiastically responded, “Go for it!” Karen shared, “I volunteer because it gives me the opportunity to support CWE and be able to do what I love.” Peggy commented on a personal benefit of volunteering: “I also knew that working with the classroom and curriculum would also benefit me in keeping me accountable to a healthy lifestyle.”

Thank you, Peggy, Jama and Karen, for volunteering at Crow Wing Energized. Your time and dedication has helped many people throughout our community fulfill our motto of “improving health and wellness in our community by making the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Registration is now open for an NDPP class led by coach Becky Kalton. The course is offered online via Zoom and begins March 4th. There is no charge for this course, but registration is required. Classes run throughout the year, so check our website to see what’s currently on offer.

Karen Grunewald

Karen Grunewald.

He contributed

If you would like to learn more about becoming a coach, please contact Kara Schaefer at [email protected]. The training and resources you need to be successful will be provided.

If you are interested in learning more about Crow Wing Energized and our upcoming classroom offerings, please visit You can also keep up to date with our events by following Crow Wing Energized on Facebook.

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