Exercise in the fresh air.
© Münsterland e.V./Christoph Steinweg

Healthy Lifestyle Community

Lifestyle is a decisive factor in longevity. A healthy diet, sufficient exercise and targeted relaxation phases are all part of a healthy lifestyle. This is where the Healthy Lifestyle Community sub-project of münster.land.leben comes in. Interested people are grouped together and form a cohort. Their vital signs are measured at the beginning, the medicines they take are listed and their personal goals are recorded. In this way, individual goals are created for each participant, which are then implemented together in the group.

The programme is made up of these crucial building blocks:

  • Healthy diet
  • Exercise and relaxation
  • social health
  • evidence-based scientific knowledge.

Group dynamics play a significant role here: through joint sports or communal cooking, participants are motivated to continue taking part. At the end of the programme, there is a closing event. But that's not all, because in most cases friendships have formed that pursue the same goal together: A healthy lifestyle.

The advantages for participants

The participants benefit in many ways. The advantages at a glance:

  • Determination of the personal health risk.
  • Experiencing the connection between exercise, nutrition and relaxation for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Pursuing the common goal in the group.
  • Workshops, cooking classes and activities provide plenty of variety.
  • Training materials for reference.
  • Regular meetings even after completion of the programme.

Healthy Living Together in Billerbeck

Frequently asked questions about healthy lifestyle communities

I don't know anyone who takes part in the programme. Can I also participate alone?

Absolutely! Community is one of the central pillars of Together Healthy and our experience so far has shown that the group quickly grows together. New friendships are formed and participants learn that there are many people with whom they have some things in common.

Do I have to become vegan if I take part in the programme?

No, there are no dogmatic dietary rules in Together Healthy. It is not about forbidding anything. During the intensive phase, the participants learn about the causes of lifestyle-related diseases and it is true that high meat consumption increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure, for example. So it is definitely worthwhile to reduce meat consumption and include more legumes, fruit and vegetables in one's diet. But the decision is always made by the participants themselves.

Is Healthy Together a weight loss programme?

No, Healthy Together is not a programme that is only about losing weight, but a holistic lifestyle programme. Our goal is to make the participants experts for their own bodies and to support them in finding their best possible way to a self-responsible, healthy lifestyle. For example, they learn about the influence of nutrition, exercise and relaxation on their own body and what possibilities there are to prevent illnesses, improve symptoms of illnesses or even make them disappear through a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the participants learn together with us how they can implement the necessary changes in their lives - e.g. how to cook healthy and delicious meals or how to incorporate exercise into their everyday life. It is therefore possible that participants will lose weight in the course of the programme.

Why do so many seminars take place in a relatively short time at the beginning?

In the intensive phase at the beginning of the programme, 15 seminars and additional workshops, cooking courses and shopping tours take place within about 10 weeks. At first glance, that seems like a lot. However, studies have shown that such intensive exposure to the topic is necessary for a sustainable change in behaviour. We all have habits that we are reluctant to part with, consciously or unconsciously. If the lifestyle is to be changed positively in the long term, it is therefore necessary to consciously deal with nutrition, exercise and relaxation over a longer period of time.

I am taking medication for high blood pressure and/or type 2 diabetes mellitus - can I still participate?

Yes! Basically, there are no exclusion criteria for participation in Gemeinsam Gesund. It may even be possible that the values improve and the medication can be reduced. However, it is very important that participants do not change the dosage of their medication on their own! Even though the contents are based on evidence-based scientific knowledge, the programme does not replace a visit to the doctor. We would like to expressly point out that we neither make diagnoses nor carry out medical treatment.

Is Together Healthy based on a scientific background?

Yes, the whole programme is based on evidence-based scientific findings of the so-called lifestyle research. It is important that the most up-to-date research is communicated. Therefore, the programme is continuously adapted. In addition to the evidence-based scientific information that is conveyed to the participants in the events, the entire programme itself is also scientifically researched. Together Healthy is an initiative of the Münster University of Applied Sciences and under the direction of Prof. Dr. Heike Englert.

Can I participate now?

The programme has now been successfully completed in Billerbeck.

Questions and answers for participants

My blood values and/or blood pressure have improved as a result of the programme. Can I stop taking my medication now?

Medication should never be stopped or the dose changed on your own. Even though the contents of the programme are based on evidence-based scientific knowledge, the programme does not replace a visit to the doctor. The treating doctor should be informed about the participation and the improved values.

What happens after the seminars?

At the end of the seminars, the time spent together is celebrated.

However, this is not the end: After the intensive phase, in the so-called consolidation phase, the participants are invited to come to the monthly follow-up meetings. All former participants can come to these meetings. There, the knowledge from the seminars is refreshed, new - especially practical - impulses are given and there is a space for exchange among each other.

More information

The healthy lifestyle community is at home here

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