This month readers learned about the incredible wellness journey of Rachel Tineo, a senior systems analyst at TMC. Over the last couple years Tineo has transformed from being overweight and and at risk for diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension to an enthusiastic proponent and example of healthy living.
These days, it only takes one look at Tineo to see that she has made some very big changes to her lifestyle. As a matter of fact, she has changed practically everything about her lifestyle and that of her family as well.
Tineo now spends up to 6 days per week in the gym—and lifts loads well into the triple digits under the direction of her personal trainer. She has also made sweeping improvements to the foods she eats, controlling her portions and her calories.
At TMC, this is becoming a much more common story among employees, thanks to an expanding wellness program that incentivizes, encourages and provides opportunities for better, healthier choices. And while Tineo’s choice of workouts is charged with heavy weights in a gym setting, it is certainly not the only way to hit fitness targets.
Even something as simple as walking can do the trick.
As a matter of fact, the U.S. Surgeon General recommends 30 minutes of walking (or other physical activity) each day. And as another TMC employee, Dorothy Larson, found out, regular exercise, including walking, decreases your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, some cancers, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and obesity. It also improves overall health, helps osteoarthritis and diabetes, boosts HDL cholesterol (that’s the good kind) and can improve your mood.
Larson, a financial analyst, would have the Surgeon General’s stamp of approval since she has been walking the TMC campus for much of the 26 years she has worked for the hospital.
She had a scare about 20 years ago when doctors suspected she might have cancer in her leg. After surgery gave her a clean bill of health, the once-occasional walker became an avid fan.
Larson tries to walk every day, with her lunch periods providing some downtime from crunching numbers.
“I feel more energized when I come back, Larson said.
When it’s hot, she can walk the halls, which also gives her an opportunity to interact with folks in the hospital, since she works in an outlying building. And in pleasant weather, she can walk the trail system that largely encircles the hospital grounds and enjoy nature.
Larson said walking has helped her stave off weight gain, but said remaining active has also helped her maintain strength and agility.
She also likes the variety. She can walk briskly, to get her heart rate up. She can walk at a lower speed for relaxation. And she can walk with colleagues and reconnect with their lives.
“It’s fun and it’s enjoyable and you don’t need any equipment – just a good pair of walking shoes,” she said.
“What you do for exercise doesn’t have to be crazy. The main thing is, you need to find some way to move your body. It doesn’t matter how. Just find something that you can sustain and incorporate into your day. Even that one change can make a big difference,” said Tineo.