Walking at Work Does a Body More Than Good

April 19, 2012
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Sneakers and business attire don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and jelly; they’re a far healthier combination. Many Sinai Hospital staffers kicked off their heels and laced up their walking shoes to celebrate the start of Sinai’s walk at work program, which is sponsored by our Employee Activities Committee.  Fittingly, the 2012 program started on April 4, which is recognized as National Walking Day.

Sneakers and business attire don’t exactly go together like peanut butter and jelly; they’re a far healthier combination. Many Sinai Hospital staffers kicked off their heels and laced up their walking shoes to celebrate the start of Sinai’s walk at work program, which is sponsored by our Employee Activities Committee.  Fittingly, the 2012 program started on April 4, which is recognized as National Walking Day.

Walking is a gentle, low-impact way to burn calories and tone muscle, relieve stress and boost stamina. Often, health care employees (whether they’re behind desks or at bedsides) devote so much energy to caring for others that they need a reminder to slow down and care for themselves. The walk at work program gifts staffers with a chunk of time where they can get out of the office or off the floor and get their move on. As they stride through any of the four “trails” on Sinai’s campus, concerns about who’s picking up the kids or what’s for dinner simply melt away. Anyone who has felt their blood pressure drop and their spirits lift after taking the dog out for her nightly constitutional knows that exercise does more than just the body good.

ImageSinai EAC Walk at Work Kickoff

On Wednesday April 4 the Sinai Hospital EAC kicked off its walking club. Everyone was invited to walk for 20 minutes in the K-Lot.According to the Mayo clinic’s website, “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed.” Taking those 30 minutes to stroll around the grounds won’t just help you shimmy into your skinny jeans, it’ll boost your brainpower too. John Glenn, former U.S. astronaut and senator, is an avid walker; as is Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews. Walks through the countryside stirred Vincent Van Gogh to create some of his most memorable masterpieces. Singer-songwriter Art Garfunkel says that his sojourns have given him the time and space to craft the songs that have moved generations. “I sing along with my Walkman – walking allows me to sing very loudly – and write in my journal.”

Walking can be a time to reconnect with yourself, or a chance to expand your social horizons. “Walking is good for your health, it’s great for stress relief and it’s fun,” concurs Sinai President Neil Meltzer. “But one of the best parts of walking at work is that you get to meet new people.” The person you end up gabbing with as you cross the mile-mark could end up your new best friend.

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Sinai’s walk at work program is a part of LifeBridge Health’s overall commitment to wellness. The LiveWell @ LifeBridge plan helps employees prioritize their own health and well-being. “Walking one day a week is a good way to ease into walking longer,” explains Peter Andrews, PA-C, director of Occupational Health for Sinai and Levindale.

Slow and steady helped the tortoise beat the hare, and it may just find you crossing the finish line at Race For Our Kids or the Save-A-Limb Ride, fun fall events that help raise money for the Herman & Walter Samuelson Children’s Hospital and the Save-A-Limb Fund at the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, respectively.

Stretching your legs and enjoying the scenery is a mighty fine way to savor spring or the first flush of fall. ImageRenierBlake, PCA, showed her spirit on the first walk at work day of the season. “It was good,” she says. “Once a week? Why not?”

– Laura Bogart

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