Rachel Tineo- Just a walk a day can keep the doctor away

rachel1This 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.

DorothyAs 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.

Rachel Tineo – ‘Living Well’ in the workplace and beyond

Tineo_Blog_ImageA lot of co-workers at Tucson Medical Center have come to consider Rachel Tineo the poster child for workplace wellness.

Tineo, a senior systems analyst at TMC, was overweight several years back, and had begun developing weight-related ailments such as diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension and even bouts of depression. Her “aha!” moment came three years ago when her doctor challenged her to change her thinking and get on the path to a longer, healthier life.

Long story short: It worked.

Face with the possibility of dying early, Tineo improved her diet, increased her activity level, brightened her outlook, and lost about 80 pounds in the process.

“The more I exercised, the more I wanted to eat right, and the more I wanted to help others make good choices of their own,” she said.

Rachel - Before

Rachel – Before

Tineo hooked up with a personal trainer and learned how to safely push herself to get results. Little by little, she made fitness an increasingly large part of her routine. Now, it’s something that is so a part of who she is, she couldn’t live without it.

It wasn’t only Tineo that was changed. As a mother and wife, her lifestyle began to have an effect on her family as whole.

“My whole family is getting active. Instead of eating bad foods and sitting on the couch watching TV, we workout as a family. I’ve learned to cook, healthier meals. As a result, my children are learning how to eat well. I am changing their future ,” she said.

Her story resonates in the workplace – even more so now that TMC has launched its Live Well initiatives for employees, using Tineo as an example of a successful lifestyle change. She shared the story of her journey toward better health during employee Town Hall meetings last year.

“If I’m helping even one person around me, then I’m doing a lot of good,” Tineo said.

Rachel - After

Rachel – After

She enjoys the fact that employee wellness has become more of a workplace priority.  “If I don’t bring healthy snacks from home, I know I can rely on the TMC to have healthy items available in the Cafeteria, or Higher Grounds, or Peppers Café,” she said. “I rely on healthy fuel, and we have the pre-made food, the power drinks, the salads to choose from.”

Tineo exercises six days a week, and her mantra – Move Your Body! – guides her journey toward long-term health.  Now she has influenced others in her extended family and among her co-workers to make healthy changes.

“I used to sigh and cringe when faced with a challenge.  Now, I feel I’m ready for anything.”

livewellWhile TMC’s Live Well program is an internal program for staff, there is a public seminar available to the public to get on the right track. The 2.5 hour seminar includes discussions and resources about physical activity, nutrition and mental/emotional well-being. To learn more or submit registration, click here.

Did You Know? Zumba!

Correct technique is important in any workout for the prevention of injury and to maximize results.

Group exercise led by a certified instructor can be a great way to introduce new moves and equipment. Typically delivered in one-hour blocks that include a proper warm-up and cool down, group exercise offers social opportunities with others who share the same fitness goals, while providing psychological support and physical benefits.

Estella Van Cleve, a patient care technician in TMC’s emergency department, is the first to acknowledge she wasn’t big on gyms when a friend introduced her to Zumba, a fitness class with roots in Latin and international music and dance. She’d heard of Rumba, but Zumba was new to her.

But when she tried it, she found the hour flew by and she was disappointed that they had to stop.

A certified instructor since 2010, Van Cleve hails from Colombia and has been dancing since she was a toddler. “It’s part of my culture,” she said.

Still, she noted, participants shouldn’t steer clear of a class because they fear they don’t have rhythm.

“If you can walk, you can do Zumba,” said Van Cleve, who cautions that it can be addictive. Zumba music is always playing on her car stereo and her license plate says ZUMBAQN.

The group dynamic is also important, she said. “Everybody has a story to tell and in a group, it’s better because we can share things with other people and learn from their experiences.”

Classes are $5. Classes are currently held at HealthSouth, 2650 N. Wyatt Drive, on Tuesdays from 5 p.m. until 6 p.m. and on Thursdays from 6:45 p.m. until 7:45 p.m. Please confirm class times on the community calendar at www.tmcaz.com.

TMC’s Live Well recognized with “Process and Leadership” award

Last week, an award for Process and Leadership in Worksite Healthcare Promotion was presented to Judy Rich. The award was issued by the Wellness Council of Arizona and the National Partnership for Wellness in recognition for the work done this year with TMC’s new Live Well initiative.

Last spring, the leadership at Tucson Medical Center noted that chronic diseases make up a disproportionate amount of money that the hospital spends on employee health care.

So Rich issued a challenge. If employees could cut their health-care costs by a half million dollars, TMC would get an employee gym.

To support the employees in this endeavor, the TMC Live Well initiative began rolling out. The initiative, a robust program that is headed by a committee comprised on staff members across the hospital, supports employees in living a healthier lifestyle through various fitness activities, programs and incentives.  To date, employees can earn rewards for exercising, qualify for a 2012 health allowance and obtain free personal health coaching sessions for joining a 12-week fitness challenge.

The initiative has been very successful in a short amount of time. Employees have already cut health care costs by the half million dollars, and over 200 employees are currently participating in the pilot fitness challenge.

“Earning this award shows TMC’s long-time commitment to employee wellness as well as highlights recent initiatives to integrate wellness until TMC’s culture and benefits. This recognition would not be possible without the commitment from Executive Leadership and management. We are fortunate to work at a place that cares about our well-being,” says Senoir Benefits Analyst Andrea Lightfoot.


TMC Supports Fitness and Healthy Living with the Live Well Team Fitness Challenge

TMC’s Live Well initiative supports employees in living a healthier lifestyle through various fitness activities, programs and incentives.  Last month, Live Well launched the Team Fitness Challenge, a 12-week team activity that encourages TMC employees of all fitness levels to form teams and hold workout sessions one to three times a week. The challenge started on Aug. 15.There are currently 15 teams and over 200 participants.

The team activities cover a wide variety consisting of everything from Zumba and yoga (which we offer here on campus,) to weight training, cycling and P90X.

Kathleen Ball, co-captain of “Team Success,” has provided their team with a calendar of events so that members can choose from activities that best fit their ability and time schedules. Knowing that time is often a factor that keeps people from exercising regularly and achieving their fitness goals, Kathleen says, “I try to keep the team very flexible because sometimes life get very busy and it becomes difficult to put yourself first.”

In addition to the wide variety of fitness activities available to the team, they are also educating themselves on nutrition and how to prepare and eat more healthy meals. They recently had a grocery store experience that included a consultation with a nutritionist. This month they are having a team potluck, during which there is a contest as to who can prepare the healthiest dish that is less than 300 calories per serving.

Using Facebook, Skype, YouTube and other media, allows the team to schedule meetings and exchange workouts and other fitness and health related information.  Team Success also has upcoming events including meetings with a chef, personal trainer, and acupuncturist. The group is on its way to making 1,000,000 steps by Nov.15, and many of the group members are losing weight and reaching their fitness goals.

“Overall this team involves participation and reaching goals in fitness, weight loss, stress management, support, and flexibility – nurturing an overall feeling of accomplishment as we go. I love team success!” says Kathleen.

Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461