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Debra Mounts, Director, Employee & Provider Talent Acquisition, Pearland Administrative Offices Building

Debra’s job can get stressful, and she often works long hours. But she and her husband hit the gym before work or ride their indoor fitness cycle at home, which helps a medical condition she has. She says there’s no magic pill to better health, but, if you chip away at it every day, you’ll get there.

How does exercise help you in your daily life?

When I don’t exercise, I’m mentally and physically sluggish. If there’s a problem I need to solve, a lot of times I’m able to work it through it by exercising. It calms me down, almost like meditation. Exercise has also helped me manage a medical condition uncovered by my primary care physician, Dr. Stefanie Campbell, who has my ongoing gratitude for assisting me with identifying any health concerns.

Is your job pretty stressful?

I love what I do, and I’m passionate about it. We strive to hire high-quality providers. I’m on the phone or in front of people all day, and the days can get pretty intense. I believe exercise gives me somewhere to put all that stress. I share with my staff: “If I go to the gym and exercise, you will like me better!”

What do you do for exercise now, and what effect has COVID-19 had on your routines if any?

When COVID-19 hit and our fitness club closed, my husband and I were challenged on how we were to continue our exercise regimen. We were used to getting up at 5 a.m. three or four times a week to go to the gym. We’ve always been biking enthusiasts, so once gyms shut down we decided to purchase an indoor fitness cycle. We love it! It has a feature where I can cycle virtually to other countries, such as France, Switzerland, Turkey, and Spain! When COVID restrictions were lifted, my husband and I returned to the gym, where we lift weights and run 1 to 2 miles on the treadmill twice a week. We also continue to walk and cycle at home. We exercise accountability partners.

Are there any roadblocks?

The biggest challenge is finding the time and making it a priority. I have to schedule it. I’m not a morning person, but I don’t like to go to the gym after a long day at work.

Do you diet to stay healthy?

We don’t really a diet – it’s a lifestyle. I pay attention and get enough protein because I work out, but I try to keep my carbs low. It’s not very exciting, but it works. We eat a lot of turkey, chicken, and fish. Every now and then we eat red meat. We eat out about once a week, and we may have a glass of wine.

Any pointers for those beginning to live healthier?

You have to want to start the process and begin a new journey. It’s a new opportunity for growth, but, like everything, it’s a discipline.

Unfortunately, there’s no magic to it. It’s hard work, and you just have to make up your mind to do it. Tell yourself you’ll try it for 30 days, and if you don’t make it perfectly, don’t give up.

Just start. Walk. Ride a bike. Move. If you fall off, get back on. We all have challenges in life. Life is about the process, not perfection.