Emory Report
October 19, 2009
Volume 62, Number 7


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October 19, 2009
Working it out: How to fit in fitness?

By leslie king

The Sept. 28 issue of Fortune magazine cited Emory as a Fit-Friendly Company, as named by the American Heart Association.

But how do faculty and staff fit in fitness to a busy schedule?

“People ask that all the time,” says Shawn K. Ware, manager of Blomeyer Health Fitness Center, the campus facility for faculty and staff. “I was handing out fliers on campus the other week and I heard over and over ‘I just don’t have time’,” she says, detailing the litany of reasons from kids to constrictive lunch hours.

“Most people don’t like to work out. They love the result of working out — how it looks, how it feels,” Ware says.

The most-cited way for getting it done: Put it on your calendar, Ware and Melissa Morgan, Wellness Specialist at the Faculty Staff Assistance Program, advise. Make an appointment with yourself.

Consider these tips:

Make time

Wendy Childers, instructional content developer in the Rollins School of Public Health: “I consider [exercise] part of my work day and have an allotted time for it.” Childers recommends taking classes as a motivator: “There’s terrific camaraderie among the participants.”

Use exercise to get to work

Lynn Nester, director of recreational services at the Woodruff P.E. Center: Commit to working out, and make it dual-purpose, Nester says. “I’ve been riding my bike to work and I’m getting good exercise as well as saving gas, which is better for the environment.”

Exercise with a friend

Ware: “You don’t have to come to Blomeyer or any other gym. You can do wall push-ups at your desk or walk to other departments. And partnering up with a buddy for support creates a push-pull effect. Every little bit helps keep you on track. The most important thing is to keep your workout schedule.”

Spread out fitness

Morgan: “Break it up into separate 10-15 minute segments. In the morning first thing or at lunch [are best times]. After work is not an option for a lot of people; once they’re home, it’s hard to get out again.”

Park farther away

Tricia Simonds, senior lecturer, department of health and physical education: “I moved my car from the Peavine parking deck over to Clairmont, to build in guaranteed activity. It’s a great way to move your body when you know the business of the day might get away from you. I actually find I do my best thinking during those walks to school.”

Don’t make excuses
Charles Parkos, professor of pathology in the School of Medicine: “When you’re as busy as I am, you have to get over the idea of keeping a rigid routine or schedule, and accept having to exercise at variable times, and even shorten workouts just to get it done. There can’t be an excuse…. Because of my busy schedule, I sometimes have to sneak out to exercise, as if I’m leaving for another ‘meeting.’ To facilitate this, I finally broke down and signed up for a locker and laundry service at Blomeyer, so that I don’t have to be seen leaving with my gym bag!”