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The Catalyst

MUSC hosts group walk for National Walking Day


By Aimee Murray
Public Relations


MUSC employee Rosie V. Smith, from left,  is joined by coworkers Shon Gladden and Amanda Williamson as they walk around Colonial Lake on their lunch hour. Smith has dropped 28 pounds from walking. photo by Aimee Murray, Public Relations

When National Walking Day rolled around April 2, a new champion and poster child, MUSC employee Rosie Smith, was featured.

Smith, who participated for the first time last year, marks it as a life-changing moment. Last year the compensation analyst in human resources for the medical center volunteered to become a group leader. Little did she know that almost one year later, it would lead her to develop closer bonds with friends and drop 28 pounds.

Suzan Whelan, wellness coordinator for MUSC’s Office of Health Promotion, said most people already know the steps they should take to engage in more physical activity but may need a nudge to get started.

“This event [National Walking Day] gives them a definitive day to begin what I hope will become an ongoing healthy habit. Taking time during the workday to care for yourself helps alleviate stress and renew energy.”

That certainly is what Smith has found over the last year. She’s been able to maintain through the power of walking.

“I was 49 at the time and had an 10–year–old son. I pursued my career first, and then I had my child and so I felt like I wanted to do something for me.”
In January of 2013, Smith secured a personal trainer for her son, a football and basketball player, and was encouraged to exercise with a personal trainer of her own.

“I started with the trainer and my goal, at the time, was just to feel better. I wanted to live to watch my son graduate from college, watch him get married, and I wanted to play with my grandkids. Physically, I didn’t feel good. I was tired all the time, kind of sluggish, and I knew I was making poor choices with food and being a bad example for my child. I just wanted to do better for me and for him.”

Smith joined a gym. She said at first, she didn’t really have a goal as far as numbers on a scale. She just wanted to feel better.

“When I saw the announcement for the MUSC ‘Medical Mile’ walk for National Walking Day, I thought it was a wonderful opportunity to get out there. When I went, I saw they were looking for group leaders, and I said, ‘well Rosie, one way for you to be accountable is to volunteer to be the leader. Then you have to do it.’”

Smith signed up to be the leader of a group of walkers, and they’ve been walking together for more than a year. Now, Smith says she wants to get outside.

“I’m in one of those offices, that so many of us have that doesn’t have a window. That sunshine and fresh air just gets the melatonin going, and it helps with my stress level. It’s absolutely refreshing. It’s changed my outlook on work, my stress level is reduced, and I’ve lost weight, so it’s a win–win,” she said.

April 3, 2014
 
 
 

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