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Amanda’s Journey to Health

Changing her life, inspiring others.

From a Single Step to a 10K

By Anna Fritz, Health and Wellness
February 3, 2016

Amanda Davies made a decision to overcome obesity after tipping the scales at 270 pounds. Today she’s down 75 pounds and has energy like never before. She is sharing her experiences in the hope that she’ll inspire others. This is the fifth of a six-part blog series that tells Davies’ story.


Just a year ago Amanda Davies couldn’t bend over to tie her daughter’s shoes. Today she’s a regular exerciser with a 10K under her belt. But it hasn’t been easy.

“Last February I could only run one minute on the treadmill,” Davies said. “I thought I was going to die. I never exercised. It was really hard. And it’s still hard. The hardest steps I take every day are those from the bed to the treadmill in the morning. I have to make myself do it.”

But step by step, workout by workout, and day by day, Davies has made the past 12 months her healthiest year ever. She’s dropped 75 pounds, lost 15 inches off her waist, and lowered her triglycerides, cholesterol, and blood pressure. And in September, she ran the FitOne 10K in Boise.

“I did something for myself no one else could do,” Davies said. “Crossing that finish line was amazing!”

“Exercise is the number one way to keep your body going strong over the long haul,” said Pat Lara, director of St. Luke’s cardiac and pulmonary rehab programs. “If the benefits of exercise were in a pill, it would be prescribed more than all other medicines combined.”

Regular exercise, including cardio, strength/resistance training, stretching/flexibility, and balance, boosts your health in many ways:

  • Reduces your risk for heart disease and stroke
  • Helps you prevent or manage type 2 diabetes
  • Increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol
  • Decreases unhealthy triglycerides
  • Lowers your risk of falling
  • Helps prevent some types of cancer
  • Eases depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Lowers your blood sugar level
  • Controls your weight, easing stress on your joints
  • Reduces back pain and arthritis pain
  • Strengthens bones and muscles
  • Boosts feelings of well-being

The ideal amount of time per exercise session and intensity varies from person to person,” said Dr. Tobias (Tobi) Gopon, a St. Luke’s Sports Medicine physician. “If you’re trying to decide what type, intensity, or amount of exercise is best for you, consult a healthcare expert, such as a physician, physical therapist, or athletic trainer.”

Don’t feel like you’re an underachiever if you’re not an athlete. Try something simple like walking—it’s one of the best overall exercises there is. Whatever types of exercise you choose, they should be fun and provide both stress relief and cardiovascular benefits.

Davies likes to walk, run, and do the stair-stepper at the gym. She also shares exercise and health tips, recipes, and stories on her motivational blog and Facebook page, “Fit and Fabulousness,” to engage with readers in ways that are helpful, inspirational, and fun. She encourages her readers to just take that first step.

“Something is better than nothing,” Davies said. “Just do what you can. If you can only walk to the corner, then walk to the corner. Then do it again the next day, and the next, and try to go a little farther each time.”


About The Author

Anna Fritz is a writer and editor with St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing.

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