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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Lower risk of premature death: walk daily

by Annie Lovering, R.N.
Health 1st Employee Wellness Program
An eight-year study of 13,000 people conducted at the Institute for Aerobics Research found that those who walked at least 30 minutes a day (total) had a significantly lower risk of premature death than those who rarely exercised.
A regular walking program can help reduce blood cholesterol; lower blood pressure; increase cardiovascular endurance; boost bone strength; and burn calories and keep weight down.
A walking program is easy to begin. All you need are comfortable clothes and shoes. Begin each workout by warming up and stretching. Walk for a few minutes to get the blood flowing to your muscles before stretching.
Start with a five-minute stroll and gradually add more distance and time. Don’t worry about your speed. Walk at a comfortable pace making sure your head is lifted and shoulders are relaxed.
Breathe deeply and let your arms swing naturally. If you can’t talk, you are walking too fast. Walking is one fitness activity that provides flexibility. Once you can walk a few miles with relative ease, start varying the intensity. Walking up hills or on an inclined treadmill is a way to add intensity and tone your legs. Be sure to end each walk with a few minutes of stretching.

Tips for engagement and progress
Listen to upbeat music for motivation.
Walk with family and friends. Having to stay accountable to someone else will keep you on track.
Monitor your progress. Keep an exercise log and write down how long and far you went each day.
Walk 30-60 minutes all at once or break it up by taking two or three walking breaks throughout your day. You’ll find that by writing it down you’ll be more aware of how it best fits in your schedule.
Call 792-1245 or e-mail to learn about the Wellness Teams Competition among employees. Each team consists of up to 10 members, and each member receives a pedometer and log book.

Health 1st sponsored events

  • Circuit Training Class—Learn how to create a 30-minute circuit. Upcoming class is from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. April 30. Call 792-9959 or e-mail to register.
  • Worksite Screening—Get this thorough, preventive health screening April 23 at Harborview Office Tower and May 28 in the University Hospital, 2 West Classroom. This screening, valued at about $250, is available for $15 for employees who subscribe to one of the state health plans, or $42 for others. Spouses and dependents can participate as well. Call 792-9959 or e-mail
  • Farmer’s Market—Get fresh fruits and vegetables at the MUSC Farmers Market. It takes place in three locations from 7 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. every Friday in the Horseshoe, behind McClennan Banks and next to Ashley River Tower and at Harborview.
  • Smoking Cessation-Ready to quit?—If you’re interested in a series of six free classes call 792-1245. You will receive a free medical consultation and prescriptions for any approved smoking cessation medications.
  • S.C. Foreclosure Task Force—This agency provides free counseling services for persons whose mortgage payment is either late or nearing default. Even up to a foreclosure, task force members will help homeowners stay in their homes. Visit
  • Mammogram van—Looking for a convenient, easy way to have your mammogram? The Hollings Cancer Center van will be available June 17 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. next to the Basic Science building loading dock. Call 792-0878 for an appointment.


Friday, April 17, 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.