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Fitness center offers free week in May

Stop by Health 1st’s Wellness Wednesday table in the Children’s Hospital lobby between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 21 for the latest tips on exercise, losing weight, and eating healthy from Wellness Center’s exercise specialist, Janis Newton, and dietitian Judith Herrin. Information on the next Healthy Charleston Challenge also will be available. The last participants of the challenge lost 1,500 pounds in 10 weeks. Bring fellow employees to find out how to be one of the fall challenge teams. Also, learn how to get a free week in May at the Wellness Center.

by Beka Hardin
Program Coordinator, Health 1st
You can’t continue to just think about it… you can’t continue to put it off until next week… you can’t continue to make excuses… and you can’t continue to ignore the fact that you aren’t making the necessary changes in nutrition and exercise to have an acceptable level of body fat and prevent chronic disease. If you are one of the 64 percent of Americans who are losing the battle of the bulge, please keep reading.
The great news is that you have all of the education, resources, and facilities available at MUSC. You have access to dedicated health professionals who really care what your health is going to be like five years from now. You have the best educators in nutrition and exercise who can help make sure you are fit enough to play with your grandchildren, and strong enough to take care of yourself as you age. 
Of course MUSC also has the best physicians, nurses, specialists, and other health professionals to treat any condition or health concern.  But do you know where to go, and if so, have you really talked to the nutrition, weight management, and exercise professionals at MUSC about a specific plan for your weight control and chronic disease prevention?  As employees and students of MUSC you have all the right people and facilities just a few steps away. 
Here are a few examples: Weight Management, headed up by director Patrick O’Neil, Ph.D., and a team of psychologists, physicians, and other specialists understand the complexity of weight loss. They work together using their diverse knowledge to help you reduce excess weight using the most current and safe weight management programs. 
Annie Lovering, R.N., is the director of Health 1st, the MUSC Employee Wellness Program which focuses on the health and well-being of the MUSC community. Health 1st offers employee opportunities to improve health and wellness each week. 
Registered dietitian Kelley Martin and the dietetic interns conduct the HELP (Healthy Eating and Lifestyle) program each spring for employees.
Also, the Harper Student Wellness Center is a facility dedicated to the promotion of good health. The facility has a variety of exercise and free-weight equipment, a complete Nautilus strength training circuit, weight machines, treadmills, elliptical trainers, a Human Performance Laboratory used for fitness testing and underwater weighing, and two group exercise studios with more than 50 classes per week. There is also a junior Olympic size pool with an aquatics program including kids swim lessons and kids camps. Racquet sports, an indoor and outdoor track, and full sized gymnasium are also available to add to the many choices of activities to stay fit.
The Wellness Center also has many programs offered to members and nonmembers that make weight control and getting fit easy and fun. Employee’s annual membership fee is discounted by $100. Employees can have a free week of fitness at the Harper Student Wellness Center during the month of May.
Proper nutrition and exercise are critical in the reduction of blood pressure and improvement of triglyceride and cholesterol levels. It can reduce sleep apnea symptoms, and reduce the risk for joint problems, osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain kinds of cancer.  Good nutrition and adequate exercise also improve self-esteem. 
So what are you waiting for?  Make a commitment, get your priorities straight and learn to enjoy healthy foods and an active lifestyle!

Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful information concerning all aspects of health.

Friday, May 16, 2008
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