After our last blog post appeared, I was contacted by Heidi Hanes, an employee of our Pathology SMILE (Patient Safety Monitoring in International Laboratories) group. Heidi has osteoarthritis in most of her joints and had surgery on her right knee several years ago. Because of chronic pain in her knee, she was considering a total knee replacement. She joined a gym near her Charles Street office and began to exercise 45-60 minutes daily, alternating cardio and strengthening exercises. As a result of her fitness routine, she began to lose weight and built up the muscle supporting the knee and now is almost completely pain-free. Nine years ago Heidi also had a cervical fusion C5-7, but she said that the upper body exercises have kept her from having additional neck surgery. During her lunch hour, you can always find her in the gym. She said, “The break in the middle of the day to get away from the computer — my job is mostly sitting at a computer — has had a huge effect on my health and wellbeing. It has given me more energy and endurance, my pain has significantly diminished, and the exercise will hopefully prevent osteoporosis which runs in my family.” Heidi mentioned she also receives a Johns Hopkins discount on her gym membership. After work, Heidi walks one to two miles, as well!
Lois Tissue and Rhonda Cole, supervisors in the Core Lab, recently joined Wellnet’s “iStride Walking Program.” They walk three days a week, Monday, Tuesday and Friday, inside the Hospital from 11:30-12:00 noon with other employees. Lois explained, “You huff it, you don’t just stroll! They make you work!” She believes you are successful every time you walk, that success is ongoing and you must be consistent.
Rhonda shared how she feels a “cleansing” after she walks and remarked that this exercise has helped her better control her diabetes. She feels much better, her mood is better, and she has more energy. “It’s been a very positive experience and I highly recommend it.” Having a buddy system with Lois who also shares her office has been a great motivator.
For those employees who cannot walk at 11:30 a.m., Wellnet has another group, the evening walkers who can be seen between 5:15-5:45 p.m. iStride Walking is an eight-week program, but Rhonda and Lois said anyone can join anytime. The more, the merrier! Currently there are about 15 walkers. Lois and Rhonda showed me their Wellnet iStride tee-shirts, their Wellnet pedometers, and their Wellnet booklets to record the number of miles they’ve walked through the basement, around the second floor, or by the Metro.
Pathology Wellnet walkers Rhonda and Lois enjoy the company of the other employees, their new exercise friends, and encourage fellow employees to join them. They are also earning dollars toward their EHP medical insurance premiums.
Another employee who readily shared her success story with us is Jennifer Hurley of the Flow Cytometry Lab who began an fitness program in late October and has lost “25 pounds and counting” since then. She goes to the gym 5-6 times per week where she does 60 minutes of cardio exercise or 45 minutes of weight training of various muscles. Jennifer enjoys the recumbent bike, the stepper, the elliptical, the treadmill, and running on the track on her cardio days. Additionally, she changed her eating habits to a very healthy and delicious low-fat, low-calorie diet, and drinks lots of water.
Ellen Winslow, assistant to Dr. Jackson, is an avid lunchtime walker. Chances are you may have seen her on her 35-minute walk inside and outside of the Hospital. She has been faithfully walking for about three years. Ellen reports that she never gets sleepy in the afternoon as she had been prior to this exercise regime. She is definitely more energetic and looks forward her to daily walk and the collection of music she listens to on her iPod. She said she cannot imagine not walking at lunchtime!
Maybe this blog posting will encourage and inspire you to exercise if you are not currently. Remember, it’s not too late to join the Wellnet walking group or any of its fitness or wellness classes. Call the Wellnet Office at 5-9538 to find out more about the programs, gym memberships, and more.
Here’s to a Happy and Healthy New Year to all!
Department of Pathology