Brad Hintermeyer has always been active.
The 35-year-old father of two was a high school swimmer and soccer player in Moorhead, Minnesota, and coached a local swim club while he attended North Dakota State University. He regularly ran with friends and watched his dad stay in shape for his career in the military.
So it made perfect sense that when he chose a career, it involved helping others stay active. He studied human performance and fitness, thinking that was the route he would take. But an internship in cardiac rehabilitation was eye-opening.
“That skewed my decision,” Hintermeyer says.
He was hooked when he saw how exercise and activity could so improve someone’s life.
“It was the ability to see someone right after a major heart event, surgery or heart attack, and watch them start their activity program,” Hintermeyer says. “Maybe it was just walking, but then the satisfaction of seeing them through a three-month program and getting them back to the things they were doing.”
His passions for fitness and helping others together mean he’s one of many training for the Fargo Half-Marathon in May and encouraging others to get in shape, too. He hasn’t run the half for several years, but he regularly does adventure races.
“I do an early-morning employee circuit at our medical fitness gym,” says Hintermeyer, who has worked in Sanford Health’s cardiac rehab for 12 years. “I thought this would be a great time to get back into it.”
On his own routine: I try to work out every day if I can, five days a week. The ability to stay relatively fit helps with the day-to-day demands.
On how it translates at work: Every day, I try to explain the importance of staying active and healthy and how that relates to a healthy body and heart. I try to practice what I preach and get my workout in over my lunch hour if I don’t do it in the morning.
On how it translates at home: Activity is so important for young ones and kids as they grow, so I try to create an environment where movement is easy to do. If I’m working out at home on the weekend, I’ll do it in a way where the kids can join if they want to. I got a lot of good running behind my daughter Lauren’s bike, helping her get off training wheels.
On watching people start: We would get our patients to train and get together and do the Fargo 5K, and they would do it as a group. They would walk or run or do whatever they could do.
On his own training: It’s been a long time since I’ve run this distance. I do annual mud runs or sprint triathlons. I’m doing the same training I’ve been doing – some weight training, some circuit classes, and a few days of running, building up to longer runs. Since my goals aren’t to hit a certain time, my body feels better when I do some variety.
On consistency: Find a program that works for you – look at your day and see where you can get a workout in. Then it’s what can help you stay consistent – a buddy or family member or class, and what fuels your fire. Consistency is the secret ingredient to get to your goals.