Carrie Johnson has a passion for teaching health and wellness. She became an adjunct instructor for the college 20 years ago, and is now on track to become a tenured health and physical education instructor at Centralia College. She also manages the fitness center and is a certified personal trainer.
“I like to empower students, faculty and staff to take care of themselves,” Carrie explained. “It’s not just about working out, it’s about making decisions for a healthier life. Whether drinking more water, taking regular walks, or cutting down on sugar, it all helps. Creating a healthy lifestyle isn’t an all or nothing decision, sometimes it’s just about making small changes that become habits to build on.”
Carrie has transformed many of the classes available at the college by focusing on fun activities and current trends in the health and physical education fields. Her classes often include outdoor activities, including local hikes and snowshoeing. She’s also developing classes focused on stress management and behavior modification so that students can make lasting changes in their lives. Additionally, she’s made many of her classes available to the general public through the college Continuing Education program.
With the onset of wearables like Fitbit and mobile apps in the health industry, Carrie is researching the best use of technology for health and wellness, and how to work these future trends into the classroom. Fall quarter she is teaching a new class focusing on this technology called Technology in Health. Carrie also works to make her classes practical and accessible for students and the general public; she’ll be teaching a stress management class in Morton that’s part online and just two Saturdays for the entire quarter.
“I don’t just teach health for the fun of it, though it’s fun for me,” Carrie said. “I want people to take charge of their own lives, making small changes and focus on moderation. I want health and wellness to be an easy transition for people. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult, it should be fun and something you enjoy.”
Carrie recently returned from a five-day 56-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail with friends, beginning at Timberline Lodge and finishing in the Columbia River Gorge. Presently, she’s planning a hiking trip to the Enchantments in the Cascade Mountain range outside of Leavenworth.