Friday, February 18, 2022

Brooke Zittergruen has been a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employee for 16 years and currently works in the Health Information Management Department. She is passionate for promoting a healthy lifestyle and serves as a liveWELL Wellness Ambassador and a member of her building’s wellness committee. The liveWELL program provides well-being services to faculty and staff here at the university. However, like many others over the years, Brooke found it challenging to create healthy lifestyle habits that she could sustain over time and struggled to find motivation to change her behavior on her own.  

That is until 2021, when Brooke decided to try the one-on-one health coaching service, offered to UI employees as part of the liveWELL program. Brooke says, “I needed help from someone else to keep me accountable until I could turn my goals into habits, and the option to meet with a health coach over Zoom was very convenient.” 

Dark haired woman sitting on carpeted stairs in gray t-shirt.

Since she started working with Health Coach Melanie Cuchna, she has made several lifestyle changes on her well-being journey including becoming more active, making better food choices, increasing water intake and sleep, and using a variety of tools to be more successful with her goals. One action specifically that has helped Brooke be successful is making time for physical activity. “To get activity in, I schedule time on my calendar and that helps me plan my day around my activity instead of trying to fit it in when I have free time.” 

Not only has Brooke been successful in establishing and maintaining several healthy habits, she also has lost 15 lbs. and is feeling better about herself and her ability to sustain her habits over the long term. 

For those who want to make healthy lifestyle changes or are considering working with a health coach, Brooke said “It is wonderful to work with a wellness coach because they listen and let you set whatever goals you want for yourself all while supporting you, offering positive encouragement, and helping you navigate your wellness journey.” 

Starting anything new can feel challenging and overwhelming, but liveWELL is here to help and guide you with resources and support. Request a health coaching appointment online or contact liveWELL directly at or 319-353-2973. Appointments are offered at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, University Employee Health Clinic (1st Floor Boyd Tower), or via zoom.