As we find ourselves a month into the new year, it's not uncommon to reflect on the resolutions we set just weeks ago. For many, a common commitment revolves around health and wellness. Many individuals make wellness-related New Year's resolutions, only to encounter challenges in maintaining these commitments.

There's a beacon of hope for those striving to turn their resolutions into enduring lifestyle changes: Old Dominion University's Wellness Institute and Research Center (WIRC). Dr. Leryn Reynolds, Director of the WIRC, sheds light on how the institute can serve as a catalyst for sustained wellness journeys.

"The Wellness Institute and Research Center really has three branches," explains Dr. Reynolds. The first branch offers community-based, individualized, and supervised small group exercise programs: T.E.M.P.O. and Forever Fit.

T.E.M.P.O., short for Therapeutic Exercise to Maximize Participant Outcomes, is designed to improve

the quality of life for individuals with chronic conditions like cardiopulmonary diseases, diabetes, and stroke. It not only provides supervised exercise but also fosters a supportive community where participants with similar conditions can share their wellness journey.

Forever Fit focuses on healthy and independent living for adults aged 55 and up, offering supervised exercise activities that include treadmill walking, stationary bicycling, rowing, strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance training. It aims to empower individuals to enjoy their retirement years with vigor and independence.

The social accountability aspect plays a pivotal role in helping individuals not only set resolutions but stick to them. "One of the big strategies that helps not only with setting a resolution but sticking with it is social accountability," Dr. Reynolds explains. "Of course everybody knows you should exercise, but I think the reason people keep coming back to our programs is the social aspect. We have individuals who have been coming back for 30 years. It's become a network for them."

The second branch of the WIRC involves cutting-edge research. Currently, the institute is recruiting active individuals aged 55 and above to study the impact of inactivity on health when exercise routines are interrupted. Additionally, a collaborative research project with Julie Hao, Ph.D, in the Batten College of Engineering & Technology aims to develop a sensor measuring arterial stiffness for potential use as a take-home device.

The third branch consists of community-based wellness testing in collaboration with partners like the Navy. This includes assessing endurance, balance, and conducting blood tests for parameters like cholesterol.

For those interested in joining these programs or seeking more information, contact the WIRC at 757-683-6407 or You can also connect with Dr. Leryn Reynolds directly at 757-683-4974 or