BYU’s YBeFit program helps students set and achieve their fitness and nutrition goals by helping students find a balance between college life and exercise.
Participants go through a series of physical tests and then are paired with a health coach that helps them plan personal goals to improve their well-being.
Benjamin Niu, a program participant, was paired with Hannah Hilton, a wellness coach.
“When I was a little kid, I was a pretty skinny kid just like most of them but that didn’t last too long. By the time I finished high school I was at about 240 pounds,” Niu said. “On my mission in Argentina, I got to about 180 pounds. When I came home I struggled to maintain that.”
Hilton enjoyed working with Niu, as she could learn along with him.
“It was really cool (working) with Ben because I feel like for him, he was discovering things while he was talking to me,” Hilton said. “I was discovering things about him as he was discovering them for himself.”
Some of the goals set by Niu and his health coach involved developing better eating habits by diminishing the amount of food he eats within every meal, as well as eating healthier in general.
“I knew I needed to add exercise to my plan. I had tried to change how I ate but that wasn’t making much of a difference. So, I worked with my health coach at YBeFit and we set a goal to get some kind of exercise every day,” Niu said.
Health coaches are someone students can be accountable to; they help students learn about different topics within fitness and create personalized exercise plans.
“For the rest of the follow-up appointments, we’ll meet every week and discuss how his past week’s goal went. Then, we’ll talk about whatever topic we had planned on talking about, and based on that we plan another weekly goal until the next week,” Hilton said.
At the end of the program participants redo their physical and fitness tests and compare the results as part of an overview of their progress.
“Even though I am only a few weeks in, I am starting to see results. I am feeling a bit better, I lost a bit of weight, I move around better and I am learning good habits that I can stick with for a long time,” said Niu.
The YBeFit program costs $75 dollars for students. The program is open to faculty, staff and community members.