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The Catalyst

Employee Wellness events

Summer vacations are a great way to recharge and reconnect but can be disastrous when it comes to a diet and exercise program. Adding a few items to the vacation checklist can help avoid those unwanted pounds that creep up while traveling:

  • A jump rope or Frisbee can help add in exercise during the trip.
  • Sightseeing typically involves a good bit of walking. So make sure your shoes are up to the challenge.
  • Select a hotel or resort with an exercise facility. Make use of what is available: swimming pools, tennis courts, walking paths, bike rentals, and even dancing.
  • Opt for something new like inline skating, kayaking or go hiking at the destination.

During road trips, ensure better food options are available by filling a cooler with packets of instant oatmeal or soup, baby carrots, celery sticks, cucumber spears, fresh or dried fruit, rice cakes, cans of tuna, peanut butter on whole wheat bread, yogurt and pretzels. Throw in some bottled water, orange juice or low fat milk. Find somewhere scenic to stop for lunch and take a walk or stretch.

When traveling by plane, remember that most airports have healthy choices including fresh fruit, yogurt and salads with low-fat dressing available for purchase, or bring a bagged meal to eat on board. A sandwich with lean meat, fruit, raw veggies, whole grain snacks and string cheese is one example.

Always stash easy-to-carry snacks like granola bars, sports bars, graham crackers, fresh or dried fruit.

Employee Wellness

  • Cooking Well Invitational: Celebrity chef and “Restaurant Impossible” star Robert Irvine will be in Charleston July 26 to emcee the first Cooking Well Invitational, a one-day culinary competition and trade show that emphasizing healthier ways to cook delicious and affordable meals. The event is sponsored by the South Carolina Hospital Association’s Working Well Initiative and Sodexo in partnership with the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. For information and to purchase tickets, visit
  • Farmers markets: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers on Wednesday and Thursday at Ashley River Tower from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Horseshoe.
  • MUSC Healthy Challenge Tuesdays with the RiverDogs: Tuesday night games are geared toward living and promoting a healthy lifestyle featuring sponsorships with the MUSC Wellness Center, Healthy Charleston Challenge and MUSC Urban Farm. Healthy concessions options are available throughout the season and feature the Urban Farm veggie taco, which is made from crops grown on the farm. Special discounted tickets to all Tuesday games are available at When prompted, enter the group password: “healthy.” Tickets must be purchased by noon the day of the game. Gates open at 6 p.m., and the game time is 7:05 p.m. Be sure to stop by the MUSC table to enter a drawing for free Wellness Center passes.

Urban Farm

  • Lunch & Learn: Have all your tree-related questions answered by resident arborist Nate DuBosh of the MUSC Grounds Department from noon until 1 p.m., July 25 under the oak tree.
  • Early-bird maintenance: Get your day started with a little TLC for the farm from 7:30 until 8:30 a.m., July 31.
  • Work and Learn with child-friendly activities: From 9 until 11 a.m., Aug. 3, bring a plastic bag and take home some fresh produce in return for work efforts on the farm or help gather for donations on certain days. Wear closed-toe shoes. No experience or prior knowledge is necessary. The event is open to everyone.

Contact Susan Johnson, Ph.D., at, for information on the Office of Health Promotion, and Suzan Benenson Whelan, at, for information about Employee Wellness.

July 24, 2013

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