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Medicine balls add creative ways to exercise

The March 18 Wellness Wednesday, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Children’s Hospital lobby, will feature the medicine ball and ways to use it to improve upper body exercises.
by April Taylor
MUSC Wellness Center
While the origins appear to date nearly 3,000 years ago, medicine-ball training remains a viable and effective workout. We have come a long way from Persian wrestlers training with sand-filled animal bladders. The modern medicine ball took shape largely from the sand-stuffed animal skins of Hippocrates who used them for rehabilitation. They are used for the same purpose today: to train the professional athlete, injury rehabilitation, and general fitness.
Medicines balls are available in an assortment of weights, generally about 2-25 pounds. Some even have attached handles or ropes to allow individuals to perform a greater variety of exercises. A versatile fitness tool, they can be used by most ages and fitness levels. Many medicine ball exercises may be done with a partner. Medicine balls can be used to add additional weight to squats, lunges, leg lifts, crunches, and many other exercises. Upper body exercises also can be done with a medicine ball.
A medicine ball allows individuals to work on core strength, stability, stamina and functional movements. If you’ve seen them in the store or at the gym and wondered how they can fit into your workout routine, stop by the Wellness Wednesday table in the Children’s Hospital lobby on March 18 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. A personal trainer from the MUSC Wellness Center will be available to answer your questions, as well as provide sample exercises.

Health 1st sponsored events
  • Smoking cessation classes: Interested in quitting? We want to help you succeed with a series of six free classes. Call 792-1245 for more information.
  • Worksite screenings: Subscribers of the State Health Plan, BlueChoice/Companion, and Cigna can receive a thorough preventive health screening on campus. The screening includes height, weight, blood pressure; and blood will be drawn for a blood chemistry profile, hemogram, and blood lipid profile. In most health care settings this screening is valued at $200, but will be available to you for $15. The next monthly screening will be April 23 at Harborview Office Tower. To sign up call 792-9959, or, and click on Worksite Screening Appointment.
  • Mammogram: This is a convenient way to have your mammogram. The Hollings Cancer Center Mobile Van will parked by the Basic Science Building loading dock from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 14. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged (call 792-0878).
  • Farmers market: Get your fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Horseshoe every Friday.
  • National Start! Walking Day: Join us for National Start Walking Day April 8 in the Horseshoe. More details to follow.
  • Health 1st Newsletter: Pick up a copy of the March/April Health 1st Healthy Habits Newsletter at the Harper Student Wellness Center or in the Health 1st literature rack on your way to the main hospital cafeteria.
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, March 13, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.