Spotlight on Wellness

Each week we will feature a University of Alabama employee to find out how they get moving and stay healthy!

Nominate a friend or co-worker to be a Spotlight on Wellness at wellness@ua.edu. 

Week of December 12, 2019: Jamie Burke,  Associate Director,  Department of Engineering

Ms. Burke works in the Department of Engineering in External Affairs and Development. She is the associate director and she supports alumni and donors in financially or philanthropically supporting the initiatives of the college. She is a native of Louisiana and has two degrees from Alabama. She is currently working on a PhD in higher education. She loves to volunteer on campus and in the community. She enjoys working on college campuses—especially this one!

What do you do to stay active?

I participate in almost all of the Fitbit challenges and I don’t usually win, but I was the top stepper in advancement in the trim down for the turkey, so I won a turkey! I just completed my 5th half marathon (which may have been the reason I won the Fitbit challenge!). I normally work out at 9Round, it’s 30 minutes of kickboxing fitness. It’s quick and different every day, plus it’s flexible with my schedule because there is no start time. I also really like bikram yoga, which is like hot yoga where you hold positions for a long time. Mostly I go to 9Round, workout at the rec, or run outside, and I also walk around the quad a lot.

What motivates you to stay active?

Just taking care of myself and enjoying the outdoors helps keep me active and motivates me to walk and run outside. But also to stay healthy and take care of my body and be able to do all of the things that I want to do so I can have a fulfilling life.

What are some barriers to being physically active & eating nutritious food?

My travel schedule can be a barrier. Also wanting to be social because exercising and eating right involves planning—or you’re at least more successful if you plan. Just trying to find the time for all of it is the biggest barrier.

What are some tips you have for someone who wants to live a healthier life?

What works for me is that I block off time on my calendar—setting an appointment with yourself helps you better plan your day when you see it on a calendar. If you’re just starting off start small and don’t give up. Be willing to try new things and explore, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t like one new activity or one new food. Just keep going and listen to your body and see what your body is responding well to. One thing that has helped me this past year—I’ve completed two rounds of whole 30. That really taught me what you can do if you set your mind on something. Listen to your body and realize what you do and eat really affects not only how you look, but how you feel—your internal wellness. That has kept me inspired. When I make good choices, I feel the benefits, not just see them.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved recently or plan to achieve?

In 2012 I ran my first marathon and I told myself I would run the Las Vegas “Rock and Roll” half marathon before I was 30 and I did it! My new goal is to run the Tuscaloosa half marathon in March. I would like to incorporate travel with running or running more with friends. I would like to keep that adventurous aspect of running. I actually ran the half marathon in Las Vegas with my friend I met at the HR orientation here at UA, although she now works at Clemson, we met here at UA and ran together.

What is an item on your bucket list?

Lots of things—hike the Appalachian trail, take tennis lessons, visit more national parks and hike through those, go to the Women’s college world series, go to Greece, see Mt. Rushmore, go to Bethel, New York—the site of Woodstock, and lots of fitness goals! I had ‘see Aretha Franklin in concert’ on my bucket list and I didn’t get to do that, so now I am even more motivated to do the others!

Week of October 29, 2018: Rachel Grooms, Police Officer, UAPD

Rachel has been a police officer with UAPD for 6 years.  She says, “Your options are limitless!  Challenge yourself!  In the beginning of my law enforcement career as a female officer, I made the SWAT team and passed several trainings that hadn’t been accomplished by other females for 7 years prior to me.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I try to keep active with some form of activity every day of the week.  When my work schedule or lazy days play a hand in my plans, I try to maintain at least 5 days a week keeping active.  I like variety and to switch up my plans which consists of exercising at work, around campus, at home, and around the community.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

There are many facets to this answer.  Of my many answers I would say self-image, overall health, and circumstances of the unknown.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My barriers to keeping physically active fall into the norm of most people who are asked this question.  My job requires a lot of my time and there is never enough time in a day.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity would be roller skating!  I’ve been a “rink rat” since I was a child and I’m still one to this day!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

My goal every day is to just keep moving.  It’s very easy to get lazy and complacent in our daily lives, the struggle is real.  Don’t quit!

What is one item on your bucket list?

First and foremost, I never want to quit experiencing the thrills of LIFE!  As far as destinations, I have always wanted to visit Italy to follow-up on my family history.

Week of October 15, 2018: Peter Cason, Area Coordinator, Housing and Residential Communities

Peter Cason is the area coordinator for campus housing.  He supervises the community directors who are graduate students here on campus who supervise the RA’s.  His area works to build communities among the residents and in their rooms.  He was an RA for 3 years and worked in housing during grad school (so he is very accustomed to the mess that happens!)  For fun he enjoys trying any new activities, going to sporting events, and eating sushi.  Peter and his fiancée are currently trying to travel to all 30 baseball stadiums in the country and they are almost halfway there!

What do you do to stay active?

I’d consider myself a pretty avid runner.  I prefer to run outside, especially if it’s raining.  I’ve been doing it for the past 5 years or so.  I’ve ran 3 half marathons and that is my favorite distance to do.  I did aspire to run a full marathon, but the half is really good, there’s always room for improvement, where a lot of people do a marathon just to say they’ve done it.  My goal is to always do a half marathon once a year.  With running more so than other exercising mediums, it’s easier to stay in shape and stay with it if you’re having something to look towards.  For me, that’s signing up for a race because I know I have to run and train for that. 

What motivates you to stay active?

What motivates me to run is that I always want to make sure that I’m staying active and staying healthy.  That’s due to people I’ve been close to have not necessarily chosen that lifestyle and I’ve seen the consequences of that and it motivates me to stay active.  What motivates me to do a bunch of other activities is that I love to have fun and it’s important to go out and experience things if we can.  I think it’s important to do whatever you want to do.

 Are there any barriers to being physically active?

You wake up some mornings and you don’t want to get out of bed, and it’s always more convenient to not work out, especially if you do live a busy lifestyle and have to run a bunch of errands; you just have to be intentional about doing it and make sure you’re sticking to your schedule.  Currently my schedule is after work I immediately change and go outside.  When I get home, I don’t let myself sit down and make an excuse to not run.  With that, it’s always okay to take a day or two off.  I think sometimes people believe that once you’re working out you have to do it every day or twice a day, but it’s important to take a day off to relax and recover because you need it.  Unwind and just get ready for the next week.  There are definitely barriers, but it’s not an insurmountable hurdle.

Are there any health-related goals that you have achieved or would like to achieve?

My first goal was running my first half marathon which I did in 2014.  I had a time in mind, but I didn’t think too much about it.  The past 2 that I’ve done, I’ve looked at the time and tried to PR it.  Every time I do a race now I go at it from the lens of “let me try and get a better time,” because I’ve already completed it, now I can push myself to do a better time.  That’s always something that you can do faster and better, it keeps you going.

Any tips for someone who is looking to start being more physically active?

Not one size fits all.  Exercise looks different to each person.  That could be something as simple as starting 3 workouts a week, and what that workout is can be doing a couple laps around the neighborhood, etc.  I think the most important advice would be to put in the time and effort because it just doesn’t happen automatically.  It’s great for people to say, ‘yes, I want to work out,’ but you have to actually take the step to go out and do it.  You can have the motivation and support system, but it’s really you who goes out and makes the call to do it.  And don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing.  If your mode of working out is running or walking, don’t look at me as an example to run x number of miles a day.  You can walk half a mile every day and work your way up.  It looks different to everybody! 

What does living healthy mean to you?

To me, living healthy is having the ability to do lots of things, traveling, eating, not having to worry about any physical barriers to certain things.  And so one thing I feel very fortunate about, because I live a healthy lifestyle, I don’t have to worry about if a group of us are going on a walk, I don’t have to feel bad about having to stop halfway through because I’m out of breath, and if we go out to eat I don’t feel bad about splurging on an unhealthy meal because I know I’ll get back into running the next day.  Being healthy opens a door to do a wide array of activities.

What is an item on your bucket list?

 I don’t have a set bucket list, although I guess visiting all 30 of the baseball stadiums counts! I just try to live in the moment and in the here and now.  When an opportunity presents itself I always try to seize it!  Everything that has happened in my life could be on my bucket list.  I’m very lucky, I have a job I enjoy, and I have someone to spend the rest of my life with.  As opportunities come, do you have the audacity to seize that moment?!

Week of October 8, 2018:  Kim Wright, Faculty,  Computer Science

Kim is computer science instructor.  She likes to read books that are spiritually motivating written by Christian authors.  In her free time, she enjoys shopping, and meeting friends for coffee.

What do you do to stay active?

I walk a lot, I try to walk every day except Sunday.  I have a friend and we meet at the river walk often, but when it’s raining we meet at the mall and walk.  Also, because I can’t park close to where I work, I walk all over campus.  I enjoy walking my dogs.  At night I like to do yoga stretches, just 4 or 5 things I like to do.  Mountain pose, down dog, different things like that.

What motivates you to stay active?

I feel better.  The older I get I find it’s easier to gain weight, so I’m trying to avoid that!

What are some barriers to being physically active & eating nutritious food?

Time constraints, bad weather, and my busy schedule.  We all have our vices, but to me the majority of what you do is what counts.  Your vices or negative unhealthy foods that you eat should be the exception.  Fried foods or sweets shouldn’t be the norm with a salad every now and then.  Your diet should be saturated with healthy food and every now and then have some chocolate cake sparingly.  That is a huge emphasis of mine, is eating healthy.  And I love burgers and French fries, but I know it doesn’t make sense to regularly fill my body with those kinds of things. 

What are some tips you have for someone who wants to live a healthier life?

I think eating is a huge part of staying healthy.  I see how easy it is to eat fast food and it’s harder to find healthy fast food, plus the healthier foods that you can buy from a fast food place or a restaurant are more expensive than the junk food.  So, it takes a lot of planning, you have to plan!  We eat out a lot but it’s important to me to choose places that serve fresh food, like Panera.  It can require a lot of planning and budgeting.  I know I’m going to spend more money on healthier food because it’s worth it to me.  I don’t splurge on other things as much, and I set my budget because I know eating healthy is important to us. 

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved recently or plan to achieve?

Yes, when school started I got out of the habit of walking.  I got really busy with school and then I noticed I was gaining weight and I have weddings and stuff coming up I need to look good for!  So, I got back into walking, which is great.  The past month I was trying to reduce my consumption of white bread—like croutons on a salad, or buns on a hamburger, and trying to include more whole grains.  Just trying to be more aware of what I do and eat.

What is an item on your bucket list?

I actually have a few!  I would like to visit/take a trip to Hawaii in my lifetime.  I want to see the beauty of the islands.  I also want to take an Alaskan cruise—but not in the winter.  It’s really narrow where they take the cruise ships, so you are really close to land.  Cruises in the Bahamas are mostly water, but in Alaska you’re cruising in the water and are really close to the land and nature the whole time.  Another thing that I’ve thought about is being a foster parent someday, that is something I would like to try to get involved in if I can.

Week of October 1, 2018:  Alexa Tullett, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Dr. Tullett is from Toronto, Canada and is a social psychologist. She is interested in people’s beliefs about scientific theories and how psychologists do their work.  She enjoys hanging out with friends, making food, reading books, and going to the lake.  Lately she has been experimenting in the kitchen and has learned to make sour dough bread.  She records a psychology-related podcast called The Black Goat with her good friends Simine and Sanjay who live on the west coast. They just recently released their 42nd episode! You can check it out here: http://www.theblackgoatpodcast.com

What do you do to stay active?

I used to be proud if I worked out 3 times a week but now I’m obsessed with barre classes.  It is the first time I’m excited to go and exercise, it’s definitely addictive.  There is a social component because I like the instructors and the people who attend the class, and it pushes me in a way I wouldn’t do if I worked out on my own.  I used to run, and I never really liked it.  Barre classes are based on ballet exercises, but also have aspects of Yoga and Pilates.  The idea is small repeated movements to the point where your legs are shaking.  I go to Barre Code downtown 5 or 6 times a week.  They offer different versions of classes that are more strength based, or cardio based; they even have a class called Brawl where it’s like kickboxing (I’m not very coordinated) but it’s the most upbeat class!

What motivates you to stay active?

The ultimate motivator is wanting to be healthy and live for a long time and not have it be painful and horrible.  I am partly motivated by the superficial reason of staying fit to look good.  But now that I have found exercise that I like it’s really about the feeling of energy that comes from it.  If I work out that day I have a better day and I feel like I have accomplished more. 

Any Barriers?

Traveling is a major barrier.  It’s hard to figure out how to still be active if I’m traveling, and it’s easy to get in the mentality of, “I’m on vacation” so you eat a lot and just don’t feel good.  There are times where I feel really busy, but I do think you can balance those things.  And exercising consistently makes me more productive because of the extra energy that I get.  Work and working out are not in competition for me because I feel better when I can do both.

Are there any health-related goals you would like to achieve?

When I was recently in Copenhagen, Denmark and we biked a lot, and it’s a great mode of transportation.  I have a bike here that needs a new tube, so my goal is to fix it and bike more.  It is a great way to get from place to place and not have to drive everywhere.

 Any tips you have for someone who is looking to start being more active?

Find something that you like doing and someone that you like doing it with, and then it becomes easy.  I have a couple of friends that go to the same studio and I’ve been a member since they started, so I’m good friends with the owner, the instructor, and there are friends there.

What is an item on your bucket list?

Do a headstand, or at least figure out how to do one!

What does living healthy meant to you?

Figuring out a way to live that is good for you physically and mentally but it doesn’t feel like hard work.  I don’t believe that people are good at hard work.  If you can find things that feel easy and are good for you, then that’s what you’re going to stick with.  Whenever people force themselves to do hard work, whether it is at work, or a strict diet, etc. they eventually give up on those kinds of things.  You need to find things that you don’t find to be hard work.

Week of September 24, 2018: Joshua Rothman, Professor and Department Chair, History

Dr. Joshua Rothman is a professor of American History.  He works mostly on 19th century History with a focus on slavery in the United States.  A typical day for him includes working during the day, gym in the late afternoon, followed by dinner and hanging out with the family, and taking some time for reading and watching TV.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

My workouts have changed over the years.  I used to go first thing in the morning and then to work, but I never really liked morning workouts because I feel stiff and not fully awake yet.  I used to run for 10 years and I did a couple half marathons.  I’d run 3-5 miles a day, 3-4 times a week.  But I ended up having knee problems, so I got out of the habit.  I worked out at the rec with a personal trainer once or twice a week for a couple years and I biked other days.  Last fall I joined Irontribe after my wife finally convinced me to try it (and because my trainer graduated). I resisted doing it for a long time because I’m stubborn, but I like it. It’s a set time, you go in and work out, and the workout is about 45 minutes total.  I think I’m in better shape now than I was before.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Once you get into the habit of working out if you go two or three days without it you feel like garbage.  When it becomes a habit, it makes you feel normal.  There are lots of benefits; I feel better, it helps with stress and anxiety, I sleep better at night, plus I like to eat so I don’t have to worry too much about my diet.  I don’t do a lot of nutritional stuff, although I do pay attention to what I eat.  I try to fight the late-night dessert (or at least make a smaller portion), and I don’t like to eat too close to bedtime.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active? What makes it easy? What makes it hard?

Time and motivation—same as for anyone else.  There are a lot of days, and I’m sure everyone feels this way, where you just don’t want to go to the gym, don’t want to exercise, and you convince yourself that you can take the day off.  But the truth is that you have to make yourself do it.  It’s part of what you do every day.  Sometimes the schedule makes it difficult, but you just need to make it part of your routine.  To an extent, there is a certain level of self-discipline, but then it easily becomes an everyday routine.  It doesn’t need to be an over the top strict regimen like counting calories, weighing food, or even tracking steps on a Fitbit (although the Fitbit alarm is really good).

What is one item on your bucket list?

Although I don’t like long plane trips, I would like to go to Tasmania or New Zealand.  Once you go past Australia and you look out and there’s nothing.  The idea of being that far out where it feels like the edge of the earth (yes, I know the earth is round) and it just feels really far away. 

What does living healthy mean to you?

For me it’s one component of how I move through the world.  We live in a culture that a lot of people’s time and energy is consumed with work, family, and things that take your time, emotion, and mentality.  It’s easy to get consumed by that 24 hours a day.  For me, taking that 45 minutes or an hour every day where my only job is to push my body to get up, move, sweat, to not think about anything else, and just do 100 burpees, it’s nice to just do this one thing.  It’s not a project you need to worry about that will take weeks or months. And then whatever else you do for the rest of the day, at least you did this and that is good.

Week of September 17, 2018: Martha Makowski, Assistant Professor, Mathematics

Dr. Malinowski’s research is in math education.  She is currently working on a survey that will be distributed to a large number of students regarding preexisting knowledge of the material and how it relates to dropout rate, as well as gender roles in math.  For fun she enjoys exercising and tries to do it regularly, at least 4-5 times a week.  Most of her workouts include swimming, resistance training, or core body work.  She enjoys cooking, going to the movies with friends, trying new restaurants, hiking, and going to events in the state.  Recently she went to the river to see the Cahaba lilies bloom.

What do you do to stay active?

I swim 2 days a week, I walk as much as I can, and I enjoy hiking.  I try to walk at least 30-40 minutes a day and I always try to park further away to get more steps.  This semester I will be teaching a class in North lawn, so that should be a good amount of walking.  There are also a lot of state parks within an hour.  As part of swimming, we also do open water swims in Tuscaloosa.

What motivates you to stay active? What are some barriers?

I know I am more productive, happier, and feel better when I do all the things I want to do to take care of myself—which is a combination of diet, and exercise.  Underlying reasons are that when I was in grad school I had a health scare and I had to do a lot of work because I was at high risk for diabetes.  I worked with a nutritionist for 2 years to establish new patterns and I used that opportunity to get into the habit and learn new ways of getting myself to the gym.  Working out can be a time commitment, and you have to decide if it’s worth it.  When you’re starting out or it has been a couple weeks, you have to fight through the fatigue to get back.  The fatigue is a mental barrier during and sometimes after a workout.  I know if I skip my workout at lunch and tell myself that I’ll work out after, there’s a 5-10% chance that I’ll actually go.  But also, if I work from 8-5pm with no workout break then I’m more tired at the end of the day than if I had worked out.  You just have to know what your deal breakers are.  I don’t like working out in the late afternoon because I don’t like a crowded gym.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved or would like to achieve?

Every summer I used to swim an iron man distance open water swim, which is 2.6 miles.  My goal would be to get under an hour.  I currently can swim it in 65 minutes.

What are some tips for someone who is looking to start being more active?

Don’t be afraid to not be the best.  The people who are good aren’t going to be judging you for not being good, because they aren’t focused on you.  It takes a long time to learn something so don’t be frustrated if you are not where you want to be quickly.

What is an item on your bucket list?

I would like to hike the Machu Pitcchu Inca Trail in Peru.  I’ve looked into doing it a couple times, but you have to plan in advance which I’m not that great at.  Doing an English Channel relay swim is also something that we have talked about.  The average swim is around 17 hours but as a relay you’d do it as a team, so you swim for an hour and then have a two-hour break.  There is also an official there, so it is a very involved process.

What does living healthy mean to you?

I think prioritizing self-care both physical and mental health.  And also making sure that you have space to always do things that are important to you. 

Week of September 10, 2018: Dr. Rachel Stephens, Assistant Professor, Art and Art history Department

Dr. Rachel Stephens is in her sixth year at UA, where she is a faculty member in the department of art and art history.  She teaches courses mostly about American art and architecture before 1945. This semester she had the fortune of receiving a research fellowship.  She is currently in Bentonville, Arkansas serving as a Tyson Fellow at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which is a wonderful place for American art.  It’s an amazing art collection, with lots of scholars, energy, and a library all focused on American art.  She is there, in a beautiful setting, being given time and support to work on her book project, which is about the implications of the suspicion and censorship about 19th century American slavery on the art of the period.

What do you do to stay active? What are you favorite physical activities?

During the summer, I love being on the water. Most days this summer you could find me on the lake on my stand-up paddle board.  Not only is this good exercise, but it’s also very relaxing.  I also try to get to the gym 3-4 days a week.  I alternate between cardio and resistance.  In the fall and spring, I play on a softball team, and my dog Maggie gets at least two long walks each day, which is the highlight of both of our days.

How do you motivate yourself to stay active?

This might sound crazy, but I try to only allow myself TV time if it’s while I’m working out.  So I will go to the gym and stay on the elliptical trainer, so that I can watch an entire episode of something!

What advice would you give someone who is trying to live a more active life?

I try to do at least a little something active every day.  Often during the semester, it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but if I can at least squeeze in a quick visit to the gym or even a walk around the quad, that’s better than nothing. 

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately or want to achieve?

Arkansas has great hiking trails.  Maggie and I have been checking them out and I hope to work up to long day hikes this fall. 

What is an item on your bucket list?

I want to have the freedom to take a summer road tripping around the South visiting historic house museums!

Week of September 3, 2018: Susan Williams is Assistant Professor of Voice and Voice Pedagogy in the School of Music

Dr. Williams teaches one-on-one voice lessons and vocal pedagogy, oversees the UA voice lab, and is associate director of the opera program. Her former students pursue a variety of careers such as performing, teaching, academia, and music therapy.   She is a musician, so naturally she enjoys singing and performing.  She stays active by practicing yoga and hiking.  Her favorite places to enjoy the outdoors in Tuscaloosa are the trails at Lake Lurleen and Munny Sokol, which also has mountain bike trails and a dog park.

What do you do to stay active?

I enjoy practicing yoga.  I completed a 200 hour certification about 4 years ago.  I had been practicing for several years and decided to take it to the next level.  I teach a class once a week at Yoga Bliss on Tuesday evenings.  The studio recently changed locations so it is now closer to campus on Queen City Blvd.  Each semester I teach yoga classes on campus for our opera workshop course, a course that focuses on teaching comprehensive stage training for performance.  Yoga can have a lot of positive implications for musicians, such as relaxation, improving breath technique, calming nerves before a performance, and building strength, flexibility, body awareness, and concentration.  Yoga is a good way to add flexibility if you do a lot of strength and cardio work.

What motivates you to stay active? What are some barriers?

Being a classical singer takes a lot of stamina, so that is a motivator for me, as well as feeling confident about my appearance and improving my agility.  It’s a great stress reliever as well.  Finding time for fitness can be a challenge sometimes.  As a music professor, I have a lot of one-on-one classroom time. And, in addition to my own practice, I attend and participate in many rehearsals and performances, so my schedule is not the typical 9-5.  A workout may happen at 8am one day and 6pm another day, so that can limit what I can do and when, which is challenging.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved or would like to achieve?

About a year ago my friend and colleague Ellary Draper talked me into joining the masters swim.  I was dealing with a hamstring injury, so I was looking for something new to incorporate that was low impact.  It was appealing but a little intimidating since I didn’t grow up as a swimmer.  With her encouragement I took the plunge and gained a lot of confidence and I really enjoy participating in the masters swim.  I can freestyle, breaststroke, and backstroke confidently now!

What are some tips you have for someone who is looking to start being more active?

Experiment with different things to see what you like, and be patient.  The effects are cumulative, so doing a little bit every day can add up over time.  I tell my students, I would rather they practice 20-30 minutes every day than complete a marathon practice session on Sunday.  I think this applies to exercise as well.

What is an item on your bucket list?

I would really like to go hiking in the pacific northwest to see the Redwoods.

Week of August 27, 2018: Xabier Granja, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Modern Languages and Classics 

Xabier Granja is an Assistant Professor of Spanish.  He studies 17th century Spanish Literature as well as gender studies: how men and women were expected to behave and how they did or did not.  He is from Bilbao, Spain but has lived in America for 11 years.  His hometown in Spain has beautiful landscape that contains forest, beach, and urban areas.  Next to his town is Gaztelugatxe—which is a castle that was recently featured in Game of Thrones.  For fun he enjoys walking and hiking around town with his German shepherd.

 What do you do to stay active?

My workouts have changed over the years.  For example, when I lived in Spain I used to do a lot of walking, I did karate for many years, when I lived in Chicago I biked everywhere (even in the snow), I also used to run two or three 5k’s a week (but I actually hate running).  Now I lift weights from home 3-5 times a week.  I bought a bench and weights because I don’t really like going to the gym, but when I’m home I can work out any time.  It’s nice because I’m more likely to do it if I spread both my work and my workouts throughout the day.

What are some barriers to being physically active?

I don’t think there are many barriers because I always need a break.  I cook, work, and workout in the house so it’s nice to take a break and walk around the street or lift weights.  It’s good for the brain to take breaks and it helps me be more productive.  Work allows me to exercise better and exercising helps me do work better, they feed each other.

What are some health-related goals you have achieved lately?

I quit drinking last year, even though I didn’t drink much, maybe a couple beers on a Friday.  But I stopped for a while and now it has been a year and I don’t miss it at all.  Plus, it helped me lose 20 lbs. (although I gained some of it back in muscle from lifting weights) and I drink a lot more water now!  A goal of mine is to continue to get in better shape.  Lifting weights has visually changed the way my torso looks which is great motivation.  Although I have increased my uptake of dark chocolate, but if you think about it chocolate is a cocoa bean, and that is a plant, so it’s pretty much a salad!

My hometown in Spain of Gaztelugatxe, the castle that was featured in Game of Thrones.

What motivates you to stay active?

All of the big illnesses run in my family so that alone is a big motivator to be active and eat better.  I do the WellBAMA screenings every year which are nice to keep track of (my blood sugar and triglycerides have gone down).  I cook at home a lot and eat a lot of salads, seafood, nuts, seeds, and fruit, and I stay away from red meat and added sugars. Besides avoiding all the deathly fates, working out makes me feel better and a lot stronger.  The feeling of being more capable, which I didn’t know until I started lifting weights, allows me to do more things. It can be a good positive reinforcement that carries on to a lot of other things during my day.  I also really enjoy the Fitbit challenges because I like some healthy competition.

What are some tips you have for someone looking to start being active/live a healthier life?

Try everything because you never know what you’re going to like, and some workouts are more enjoyable than others.  I hated running and never thought I would love weights as much as I do.  You never know what you’re going to enjoy and once you find it you’ll keep doing it.

What it an item on your bucket list?

I have been in many countries, so I would like to travel to every country that I can within my lifetime.  I have lived in 5 countries, most of them in Europe, so I think Greece is one I would like to go to.  Mainly for the history and architecture, but also because most of what I research about gender studies stems from Greece and I would love to go there and see it all.  Egypt would also be great to visit too!

Week of August 20, 2018:  Ellary Draper, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, Music Department

Music Therapy is the clinical practice of using music to address non-music goals.  Dr. Draper’s current research is regarding children with disabilities in inclusive music settings (children with and without disabilities working together), for example autistic children joining the school choir.  Music therapy is cradle to grave, meaning that music can be used throughout the entire lifespan to help achieve mental and physical goals, as well as help with family interaction, and emotional responses.  She works clinically with a diverse range of clients from children with autism to older adults with memory impairment, but we can all benefit from using music in a purposeful way in our daily lives such as during exercise or even to just relax. 

What do you do to stay active?

I enjoy swimming.  I grew up swimming competitively (my best strokes were the 100m and 200m Butterfly, 200m and 400m Individual Medley, and the 800m Freestyle) and now I continue to swim with the Masters team twice a week.  I also do reformer Pilates downtown,  I walk, and I lift weights, but swimming and pilates are my two favorites.  My schedule during the school year can be a barrier to working out because it can get pretty busy.  In the summer it is a lot easier to plan workouts.  Currently I teach lessons in the morning, swim during lunch, and then work through the afternoon.  I also participated in the crimson couch to 5k last year and would do it again!

What are some health-related goals that you have?

My most recent goal is to heal from the broken arm that I currently have.  I can’t do my regular activities until I finish physical therapy, but I can do adaptive Pilates which is great.  I got a radial head fracture by tripping outside while getting the mail and I fell straight on my arm.  It has sort of been a nice reminder to slow down and let the body heal because sometimes you need a break.  But I’m ready to get back to my regular activities.

What motivates you to stay active?

I feel better and sleep better when I am active.  I think it’s really important for health reasons but also mental health—like decreasing anxiety and depression.  It helps me model that with my students so that they can be successful.  Also, because music therapy is about helping people, you need to be able to take care of yourself before you can help others.

What are some tips you have for people who want to start being active?

Scheduling actives and making it part of your day is one way to do it.  I add it into my calendar and time block it.  A great tip is to try different exercises, classes and new things because once you find what you enjoy it is easier to do it on a regular basis.  And also, every workout doesn’t need to be the most intense or difficult workout.  A 20-minute walk is fine if that’s all you have time for.  And do it with other people.  The groups of people I swim and do Pilates with get me to do it.  It is as much social as it is active.  (And I do get sad when my swim buddies are gone!)

What does living healthy mean to you? 

Finding a way to be active, engage regular movement, eating well, and finding things like a good work-life balance.  Getting enough sleep is so important and eating well is a big part of it.  Last summer I did the Whole 30 as well as the Cook 90.  The whole 30 is a 30-day diet change that is essentially about resetting your gut bacteria by cutting out foods like grains and dairy that can upset your stomach for a month, and then you slowly start to introduce food groups to see how it makes you feel.  Cook-90 means that you cook all 90 of your meals for the 30 days.  It made me realize how easy it is to include a lot of vegetables into my diet and has changed the way that I meal prep and eat.  Thankfully I do like cooking because there is a lot of processed and packaged food that you can avoid if you cook yourself and that will make you feel much better.  However, if you do try whole 30 brace yourself for the dishes and the grocery shopping! 

What is a dream or aspiration you have for the future?

It would be great to qualify for national masters or an international swim meet and do a destination travel with a fun swim meet friend!       

Week of August 13, 2018: Nathan and Julie Davis, Vehicle Operator in UA Transportation and Engraving Specialist at UA Printing Services

Nathan And Julie Davis are happily married, and both work here at The University.  Julie is an engraving specialist at UA Printing Services, and Nathan works for UA transportation.  Their hobbies include working out, going to the gun range, fishing, and going to the beach. They love anything outdoors.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

We both try to eat very clean during the week.  We’ve recently implemented intermittent fasting and have enjoyed it so far.  We basically eat one large meal a day (at the same time, every day to stay consistent).  The one meal we eat includes lots of veggies, dark greens like spinach salad, lean meats & healthy fats. We also try to make it to the gym at least 4-5 days a week. 

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Besides the physical benefits of working out consistently (muscle tone, looking fit, etc), we also both like to stay active for health reasons.  We both have family histories of diabetes & heart disease, so we want to try to remain as healthy as possible through diet and exercise.  Plus, it makes us feel good to stay active….mentally & emotionally.  It boosts self-esteem & improves our outlook on a lot of things. 

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

A couple of the possible barriers to keeping active for us is injury or sickness.  Also, Nathan’s schedule (graveyard shift) is a big factor in his ability to make it to the gym consistently.  Sometimes lack of sleep makes it difficult to feel the urge to go to the gym.  We are both light sleepers & even though we always go to bed at a reasonable time every night….it is hard for us to fall asleep & stay asleep. 

What are your favorite physical activities?

Our favorite physical activities include weight training, swimming & hiking. 

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately or want to achieve?

Currently, our number one goal is to stay consistent on the new intermittent fasting plan that we’ve just started.  We’ve also just started using apple cider vinegar & MCT oil.  From what we’ve studied about all three of these factors combined….we are looking forward to seeing & feeling the benefits!  Also, since day one of using ACV, Nathan has had absolutely no heartburn at all (he used to have chronic heartburn), so I think we are on the right track.  Secondly, we are adamant about staying as consistent as possible with our weight training.  

What is one item on your bucket list?

Bucket list for us is the same, pretty much. We would both love to travel: England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand.

Week of August 1, 2018: Dr. Juan Ponce-Vazquez,  Assistant Professor of Colonial Latin American history

Dr. Juan Ponce-Vazquez is from Spain but has spent the last 16 years living in America.  He currently teaches students about imperialism, colonization, and gives them a view of complex colonial society by comparing it to the world that we live in today.  He also teaches his students how to throw an atlatl, which is a Native American spear thrower.  He specializes in Latin American and Caribbean history in topics including; piracy, diplomacy, and smuggling contraband.  He currently spends a lot of time at the library researching for the book he is writing about smugglers in Hispaniola.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I like baseball and going to watch games in Birmingham and Atlanta.  Although I am a terrible softball player (didn’t grow up playing), I love playing softball.  I actually play every year in the city league with a bunch of faculty friends.  It’s a fun way to decompress at the end of the day.  Also, the history department has a yearly softball game in May: faculty vs. graduate students.  It’s a lovely event, and we all have a great time!  I also have a two-year-old, so we spend a lot of time playing at the park.  He loves dirt, trucks, and excavators.  I also love to bike and would love to do it more. 

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I try to go to the gym a couple times a week, ideally 3 or 4 times a week.  I also try to walk as much as I can, especially lately because I walk to the library so much.  The Fitbit helps a lot because it lets me know how much I do in a day. I may not listen to it all the time, but it does keep me aware and pay attention to how active I am.  My desk can also be a standing desk, and it is lovely during the year particularly when I am replying to a lot of emails.  I also try to participate in the wellness programs like the Crimson Couch to 5k, Fitbit challenges, as well as attend the sessions on nutrition and WellBAMA screenings.  The session on thanksgiving hacks so you don’t eat too much was really helpful.  It’s important to watch what I eat—as somebody who had a heart attack when I was 37—I’ve changed the way I eat a lot.  I include more whole grains, vegetables, and I don’t eat red meat anymore, just chicken and turkey.  I also have started reading nutrition labels especially now that I have a child.  I think good habits are acquired over time.  As you get older (I just turned 40), you realize you are not as indestructible as you used to be, and it forces you to pay attention to the things that you do and you cannot be too complacent about your body because it’s always changing. 

What does living healthy mean to you?

To me, health is not only about how you feel but how you make others feel.  It’s being able to transmit a certain joy to others that I think makes you a functional member of the society we live in.  A smile or a thank you to a neighbor can actually make people so happy.  It’s an important part of being healthy, being happy, and being able to transmit that to others. It can turn someone’s day around.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately or would like to achieve?

I would like to lose 10 lbs! Haha, but I would really like to start running more when the weather cools down.  It’s a good stress relief to run outside or swim in the pool.  When I do workout I enjoy swimming, biking, and rowing.  A year ago, I did my first 10k, and I would like to run another one again.  I don’t think I would ever run a marathon though because it seems like too much stress on the body.  A fun historical fact: the first man to run a marathon died right after.  Pheidippides ran from Marathon to Athens to warn them that the Persians had been conquered and then immediately died!

Week of July 23, 2018: Margaret Peacock, Assistant Professor, History Department

Dr. Margaret Peacock is an Alabama native, and a Professor of History specializing in Russian history. She is currently working on her second manuscript which is on the history of radio
propaganda. She enjoys hiking and has summited Mt. Rainier in Washington, the Palisade Glacier in California, and is planning to hike the Alps in Europe next summer.

What do you do to keep healthy and stay active throughout the week?

I exercise almost every day, but I how I exercise changes all the time. I enjoy softball, swimming, running, yoga, pilates, weights classes, HIIT, and some crossfit exercises. I can get bored really easily, so I wake up in the morning and just see how I’m feeling. Sometimes it can be Zumba with the kids; today it was a 6 mile run. Other physical activities include walking the dog and leisure swims in the backyard. I have also done weight watchers on and off since my early 20’s after I had my first daughter. It’s not a diet program for me, but a great way to stay mindful about what I eat. It’s important to be aware of the connection between your body and mind, and how what you eat matters.

What are some ways to stay mindful during a meal?

I think it’s important to always be seated while eating. Take time to set your plate, have a big glass of water, and always turn off the TV because it just distracts you from the food. When it comes to mindful eating, moderation is also important. If I want chocolate I’m going to eat it, but it will be a small amount of the best chocolate. Just be good about putting real food in your mouth, it doesn’t have to always be vegetables, but avoid processed foods with preservatives and ingredients that you cannot pronounce.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I have 3 kids, so it is great to be able to be active with them and do anything that we want. Fitness opens all kinds of other opportunities for new experiences. You can’t backpack through Turkey and Greece if you aren’t active. Exercise is also a daily necessity for staying positive. If you work hard and sweat hard for an hour in the morning, the rest of the day is more manageable.

What are some health-related goals you have achieved lately or plan to achieve?

I am usually training for something—there’s always a goal in mind to keep me on my toes. Last year I was training for a half marathon and this year I plan to hike the Alps. I want to stay active and maintain a level of fitness that I had when I was younger, that way when I really start to age I will be “old lady tough.”

What is some advice you would give someone to motivate them to get out there and be more active?

Don’t judge yourself by what others are doing, just go out and move. Don’t be afraid to try new things. It all starts with baby steps. Another big piece of advice is that if you fall off the wagon and eat half of a cake, it’s okay, just get back on the wagon. One day of eating badly
doesn’t mean it has derailed your life. Just put it behind you and move on.

Week of July 9, 2018: Wade MacDonald, Ceramics Instructor, Art Department

Wade is a ceramics instructor and loves to teach and make art.  He also loves to cook, learning how to cook new things,  woodworking and making furniture. 

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I try to exercise regularly, at least 3-5 times a week, sometimes less sometimes more. Routine can be difficult because I commute from Birmingham.  I designate a day for cardio and a day for weight training and alternate those days.  Before I finished my graduate degree, I was actually a certified personal trainer, but then I was offered a job in ceramics, so I followed my passion for art, although I am still passionate about health and working out.

What motivates you to stay active?

I just like to feel good and be healthy.  It can be difficult because of the commute and busy schedule.  I go to the gym after work and by the time I get home it can already be as late as 7:30-8pm which only leaves time for a protein shake for dinner.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Swimming, preferably in Lake Nicol.  Ceramics can also be labor-intensive.  Wedging a 25 lb ball of clay is great cardio.

Any health-related goals that you have achieved lately?

I have become a better runner.  I can run for a long time without getting tired which is a really rewarding feeling.

What are some things on your bucket list?

I really want to go camping at Cade’s Cove in the Smoky Mountains.  I would also love to get back to Germany.  I have been there a few times and really enjoy the culture, temperate and personal philosophy—they prioritize family, health, work, mental health, and physical activity.  They also have great art and museums.

What is a piece of advice you would give to inspire someone to live a healthy life?

People who want to be healthy often think that they have to follow some intense regimen and restrict the good things in life, whether it be sweets, or fun activities, etc.  Everything just needs to be done in moderation, including exercise.  Don’t feel like you need to restrict yourself, just simply work it into your natural way of living and then it will become routine and it will be easy.  And it’s okay to eat junk food once in a while.

Week of June 18, 2018: Clint Coulter, Area Coordinator, Housing and Residential Communities

Clint was the first in his immediate family to go to college, and to graduate with a Bachelors degree and Masters degree.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I stay active by going to the University Recreation Center 5-6 days a week typically first thing in the morning. I frequently focus on strength training, and other days I focus on High-intensity interval training (HITT). I maintain a healthy diet known as the ketogenic diet paired with a dietary pattern of intermittent fasting (IF). Ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low carb diet. IF is a dieting pattern where I fast for 16 hours (between 8pm-12pm) and eat for 8 hours (between 12pm-8pm). I consume most of my calories during this 8 hour eating window. As I am fasting, I consume water and black coffee (no cream or sugar). I have found that drinking black coffee is an appetite suppressant which helps get me through most mornings.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Since high school, I have always been active playing various sports. I found my passion in strength training in college and have stuck with it ever since. I continuously research new workouts, meal plans, and anything health/nutrition related because it is something I am truly passionate about. This helps me stay motivated and to stay active.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Waking up every morning at 4:30am to go to the gym. If I don’t go at this time, then I find it to be a real struggle for me to go any other time of the day. I set my alarm to wake-up at 4:30am so that I can be at the gym at 5:30am. My workout clothes are already set for the morning the night before, and I read my Bible for about 30 minutes while drinking my morning coffee. I have made this my morning ritual and it has helped me combat against turning my alarm off and going back to sleep.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is strength training. I love the weight room atmosphere and the process of challenging myself daily.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

To maintain the ketogenic diet, read my Bible daily for my spiritual wellness, and continue to get stronger in the gym.

What is one item on your bucket list?

An item on my bucket list is to travel more with my wife. We have always talked about visiting Scotland, New Zealand, and various other places of the world.

Week of June 11, 2018: Alexander Thompson,  Assistant Director, Athletics Communication

Alexander is from Cleveland, Ohio and attended The University of Alabama for undergraduate (2006-10) and graduate (2010-11) studies before returning to work in the Athletics Communications Office in 2014.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I work out six days a week in addition to work-related activity. I wake up at 4:15 a.m. each morning to get to the University Recreation Center before work to make certain that I get a workout in before things at the job get busy. When I’m at work, I make sure to take the stairs, walk the longer distances around facilities and stay moving when I can. I also make an effort to find free time for extra cardio each day, whether it is on work trips or after the work day.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I am young and still have the ability to change my body for the better. The long hours and lack of healthy food options at my job can lead to a very negative lifestyle, but I try to combat that by using my free time to stay active. I have also talked with many people in my profession who have explained to me how busy life gets with this job and a family, so while I am still single and have free time, I want to make an effort to take this opportunity to better myself physically.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

The two main barriers that can keep me from staying active are related to my job responsibilities. My profession requires that I stay in front of a computer for long periods of time. That downtime sitting can affect a person negatively when there are no opportunities for moving around. The other main barrier that keeps people in my profession from being physically active is the long hours. Sometimes, those hours and the grind of the job can make you not want to workout when you are worn out. Part of staying active for me was teaching myself that physical activity is necessary no matter what, and that mentality has helped me to avoid skipping workouts just to get a few extra minutes of sleep.  

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity by far is anything sports-related. Softball, basketball, soccer, etc. – anything with sports keeps me energized. I would play some form of a pick-up game in any sport at any time if my schedule allowed.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have cut down significantly on my carbohydrate intake. I made a decision to watch closely the amount of carbs I consume and that has helped me to cut down on my body fat.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to hike across a foreign country before I die.

Week of June 4, 2018: Laura Sanders, Director of Residential Communities, Housing and Residential Communities

Laura says, “I graduated this past Saturday (5/5) with a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from UA! I am looking forward to rediscovering myself and being able to answer the questions “What do you like to do for fun?” and “What are your hobbies?”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I work out at the main Student Recreation Center. I work with a trainer twice a week in the morning and then supplement in the evenings with exercise classes.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Exercising helps clear my mind. Working out gives me 60 minutes where I am thinking of nothing else but making it through the workout. Caleigh, my trainer, helps keep me motivated and pushes me to be better and stronger. Having a workout partner helps because we hold each other accountable and it is just more fun when you have someone to go with you to the different exercise classes.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

One barrier is ensuring that I keep exercise as a priority in my schedule. It is so easy to say “oh, I am so busy” but if you make it a priority then you will make time for it.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is Indoor cycle at the rec center. I love that I am only competing with myself for 50 minutes and I can get lost in the music while burning 800-1,000 calories!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am getting stronger everyday! I try not to get stuck on weight so I don’t weigh myself a ton. But I can tell you that I am getting better with jumping jacks and increasing weights for different exercises. My next goal is to get better with the jump rope.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to travel more overseas especially to Italy and Spain!

Week of May 28, 2018: Lynn White, Project Coordinator, Office of information Technology

Lynn says, “My husband and I met later in life and between us we have 6 adult children and 2 grandchildren.  Two of them are married and one is in process so when we have family dinner, it is a big family dinner. We try to get together to catch up on what is going on in their lives at least once a month. With that many people, there is usually a birthday or two to celebrate every month.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I do at least 20 minutes on the elliptical and core exercises every morning before work. As an OIT project manager that works on construction projects, most of the meeting that I have are not in my building so I normally walk unless there are time constraints. I make a point every day of getting at least 10.000 steps.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I feel so much better when I exercise. I have 2 grandchildren and I want to be able to run and play with them.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

It is easy to think “Do I really have time for this?” so I just keep my tennis shoes close and just go ahead and do it without thinking about it.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I like doing the elliptical best because I can watch TV shows on my iPad while I am exercising. My next favorite would be walking because it is a shared activity with my husband.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Basically my goal is to get up and exercise every day and try to make the best choices about what I eat and how much. It is a struggle but if I falter, I forgive myself and try to do better the next day. Giving up is not an option.

What is one item on your bucket list?

My husband and I want to travel out West in a camper. There are so many places to see that I have heard so much about all my life.

Week of May 14, 2018: Stacy Coats, Accounting Assistant, Office of Alumni Affairs

Stacy enjoys outside activities, such as fishing, hunting, and riding horses and is a member of the Mt. Olive Volunteer Fire Department.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I purchased a yearly pass at Lake Lurleen in Coker and hike four miles, three times per week.  I started this in April 2018. Lake Lurleen is practically in my back yard, and it is very convenient.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I feel better physically and mentally since I’ve been hiking at Lake Lurleen. Since Daylight Savings Time, there is more daylight after work, which helps me to be more active when I get home from work.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Rain and Standard Time. If its dark when I get off work, I tend to go home and do things around the house, but its not a quality activeness.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Fishing. I fish on our property in Sipsey Swamp in north Tuscaloosa County, and that activity is very physical. Walking the river bank, going over beaver dams, and hauling your catch with you. Its exhausting, yet fun, and I enjoy it.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I starting hiking in April, and with the exception of a few days of rain, managed to keep my goal of 3 times per week.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to return to Europe and walk the beach at Normandy, France, and re-trace the Allies advance all the way to Berlin.

Week of April 30, 2018: Katherine Nichols, Mathematics Instructor, Department of Mathematics

Katherine says, “I’ve biked three centuries this season and 4500 miles last year in total.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I work out at the Rec Center in the mornings before work. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I do cardio which is usually the elliptical. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do strength training with a coach at the Rec. During the summer, I do the Summer SlimDown because it’s hard for me to train with a partner since we travel during the summer. In the afternoons year round I do about two to three rides a week with the Tuscaloosa Cycle Club. Yesterday I rode for 23 miles and Saturday we plan on doing fifty.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Well part of it is because I like to eat! To try to keep my weight down and still enjoy eating food I like to find a balance with working out.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

This winter it has been the weather because it’s been very wet and cold. It’s harder to get outside and do things. The first two centuries I did this year with the Alabama Backroads Series were wet and cold so I had to clean my bike and everything.

What is your favorite physical activity?
It used to be running but I have health issues that won’t let me run like I used to so now it’s biking and walking.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?
Not yet! I’m not crimson yet so I have to lose just a couple more pound; I gained more weight this winter because I didn’t get out to bike or walk as much. I know I can reach that goal this summer it’s just that the winter was not kind to me.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to travel to Australia and New Zealand. I would love to do sight-seeing and bike between towns and stuff. Hiking, biking, and sight-seeing would be fun!

Week of April 23, 018: Jeremy Faulkner, Manager of Warehouse and Sustainability,  Central Receiving and Recycling Departments

Jeremy says, “I like to take road trips; just fly by the seat of my pants road trips with my wife. We like to not book any hotels, so we just drive and find places.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I do a lot of it here at work because I’m on my feet most of the time. This time of the year I’m doing more administrative stuff so it has me pinned to my desk. But a lot of days I’m active on my feet all day. When I take my Fitbit off at home, it’s not odd to see 14,000 steps just from work. I lift weights but I’m in the process of moving so my evenings are spent getting ready to move and paint so I haven’t been lifting as much. I like to go on hikes and I like to walk. I live in Moundville so I go to Moundville Archaeological Park and walk there. If I find a trail in the woods, that’s my spot.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I want to have a longer life and just be healthier in general. I enjoy lifting weights because it’s a really good stress reliever for me. I can tell when I’ve been missing workouts because I feel more stressed. When I was in high school, I played sports and worked out all year round and it was very structured. As long as I was in that structure I was in really great shape. I didn’t start working out until about 2012 when I started lifting weights again. I started doing some more cardio and dietary changes to lose weight and I’ve kept it off. I still need to lose some more but my metabolism is not what it was when I was 16. I know if I stop exercising I’m going to gain that weight back so I need to keep it up.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Lately, it’s been that I transition to a new position in September and work’s been really busy. I usually leave the house at six in the morning and I don’t get home ‘til six at night. I’m already tired when I get home and if it’s dark out, I can’t go walk any more so that’s it for the day.

Week of April 9, 2018: Togy Zagdsuren, Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Kinesiology

Togy says, “I’m a working mama with a 2-year-old and one on the way.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I teach activity classes twice a week and running after my toddler at home keeps me active for most of the time. We try to garden and grow our own vegetables in our yard. Prepping meals for everyone in the family is a challenge sometimes, but we try our best.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My job and my research field draw me into active life. I am specialized in a field that promotes physical activity because it’s really important that we start the change ourselves.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time commitment is definitely a barrier. Being pregnant, taking care of a toddler, and working and studying full time all contribute to my time management.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Running!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have to really watch my weight with this pregnancy as I had a C-section with my last one. So far, I’m doing well but I have a long way to go.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to learn French!

Week of April 2, 2018: Allison Payne, Executive Secretary to the Dean, College of Communication and Information Sciences

Allison says, “One of my absolute favorite things to do is event planning. I’m very fortunate that it’s part of my job but I also like doing it outside of work for birthday parties and other events.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I do my best to prep on Sundays for our meals for the week. I can do really well if I get to the grocery store and buy my food. I make sure to put breakfast and lunch in Tupperware for my husband and I.  Survival mode is knowing what we’re going to eat for dinner for the week. Prepping is a big part of staying healthy during the week for me. I wake up a couple minutes early every day to get some treadmill time in before my shower. During the day, I try to be intentional about getting up as much as possible to walk and get steps in, especially since I have a desk job.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My 4-year-old daughter. I want to stay healthy for her because she’s very active. I want to stay healthy for my family because they rely on us and I want to around for a long time.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My 4-year-old keeps me physically active, but health-wise it’s mountain dew. I have recently switched to coffee because it’s a better source of caffeine because it doesn’t have all the sugar.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Dancing! I grew up dancing and absolutely loved it. Now my dancing days are not in the studio but more just dancing around the kitchen and in the living room with my daughter; it’s my impromptu workout. I danced ballet, tap, and jazz and I would go back to the studio in a heartbeat if I could.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

As a family, we have made a goal of clean eating and we are meeting this goal. A future goal would be to make more healthy choices and eat in moderation for the holiday season.

What is one item on your bucket list?

My husband and I want to travel to all fifty states together. We both have been to several states but only a few together so it’s definitely something we want to do.

What motivated you to become a WellBama ambassador?

The position was inherited because the woman in my position before was an ambassador so I got brought into the program. I was excited to have ambassador as a part of my role but was never able to apply for it. I renewed my role over the summer because the meetings motivate me. I try to send out the WellBama newsletters and tell my department about the activities. The FitBit challenges are also really fun to compete!

Week of March 26, 2018:  Dr. Cassander L. Smith, Associate Professor of English

Cassander says, “I am learning Spanish! I am enrolled in a class here right alongside freshmen and sophomores!”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I am a member at the PARA facilities and I used to run, but it got too difficult on my knees so I started walking. I try to do a minimum of 10,000 steps each day and 3-4 days a week I try to do 20,000 just to increase my exercise. I park my car at the Ferguson Center and walk around campus or I walk around at PARA.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I’ve never seen a ninety-year-old overweight person! There is a clear correlation between longevity and healthy living and I plan to carry this body around for as long as possible. When I feel tired, I tell myself that I am in this for the long haul so I need to take care of myself now. My mom used to say that if you don’t take care of your body when you’re younger it won’t take care of you when you’re older.   

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I love to eat! My husband is from Spain and his mom is a great cook so he has learned from her to cook very well. The other barrier is time because, as a professor, I don’t have a regular Monday through Friday 9am -5pm schedule. You have flexibility in what your hours look like but the number of hours involved in the job are very demanding; sometimes I come in on the weekends. The schedule also changes from one semester to the next so if I get a workout routine set, the next semester I must start over with my time management.  

What is your favorite physical activity?

Swimming, although I don’t do it as much. I love walking because it’s easy; I just have to get up. I got my Fitbit last spring and since then I’ve been participating in the faculty Fitbit challenges. The challenges motivate me to keep going because I have competition and I like to see my name on the top steppers list. 

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

Back in 2000, I lost a hundred pounds through walking and I managed to keep it off for about fifteen years. It is slowly starting to creep back now and I have gained back about forty pounds. I’m trying not to beat myself up about it because a lot of people lose weight and they gain even more back. The goal I have adopted for myself with the new year is to maintain my fitness. At this point I am not worried about what the scale says; I am just mindful of what I am eating and making sure I am moving. Specifically, I have decreased the amount of times I eat out per week. 

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to take a trip to South Africa and go on a safari and I also want to go horseback riding because I have never been!

Week of March 5, 2018: Terry Grimm, Manager of Athletic Maintenance Operation

Terry lived in Europe for 14 of his 26 years in active duty. He lived in Germany, Greenland, and England where he ran the London Marathon!

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?
I’ve got some exercise equipment at home so I use that and I also have a membership at PARA. My job is spread out over three buildings that are close, but we are facilities and grounds so we stay very busy. There are four other guys on the staff here with me that have fit bits so we check to see where each other are at and have a little competition.
What motivates you to exercise and stay active?
Trying to keep up with the guys at work! Two guys at work average 18,000-20,000 steps a day so we have friendly competition between ourselves and I try to keep up with them. We take care of Coleman Coliseum, the track stadium, the indoor football field, Mal Moore, and twice a week the golf complex.
What are your barriers to keeping physically active?
I have had both knees replaced and an ankle replacement. I used to enjoy running but that’s gone by the wayside now. The thing that challenges me the most aside from keeping up with my co-workers is the elliptical cross-trainer. The upper and lower body get a good workout during that and then I like to play golf for relaxation.
What is your favorite physical activity?
Either walking or cross-training. When I lived overseas, I learned circuit training and I follow one that is 18 stations and takes a half hour total.
Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?
Two weekends ago, I went home and I had to do a double-take because I walked 33,000 steps that day, which comes out to just over a half marathon in miles. Over the past few years I have been paying attention more to what I eat and trying to cut down on processed food. I have tried to eat healthier and drink a lot more water. Over the past 6 months I have lost ten pounds! I have also gotten off high blood pressure and cholesterol medicine and I don’t want to go back on either one of those.
What is one item on your bucket list?
I have two: walk Machu Picchu and ride the Four Corners. The Four Corners is a motorcycle ride and I want to do it in 21 days, which averages about 600 miles a day. If I can do it in that time span I can get a patch and a certificate from the “Iron Butt Society.” To say I’ve ridden the four corners of the U.S. in 21 days will be a big challenge because of all the wind and stamina it takes to drive a motorcycle for that long. There is a group here in town, the Southern Cruisers, that raises money and donates it to St. Jude’s. I have talked to a couple of them and they think I’m nuts but I have friends from South Carolina that are up to do it with me.

Week of February 26, 2018: Brandee Tickle, Tax Anyalst at UA Tax Office

Brandee says, “I’ve known I wanted to be an accountant since the 10th grade! I’ve always loved numbers so when I took my high school accounting course it just clicked.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I typically work out five or six days a week including running. I’m going to run the Tuscaloosa half marathon next month! I have an aquatics center membership so I typically go there twice a week and do weight training. I also run around town or my neighborhood two to three times a week and then yoga once a week at home by following an online workout.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I have two very active boys who are 6 and 4 and I got very out of shape after having my youngest. I realized about a year and a half ago that I need to be more active and participate instead of being a bystander. So, I started working out because I love to do fun things with them like playing sports and being outdoors.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I think time is my major barrier and the fact that I work a job that requires computer access eight hours a day. During lunch, I try to walk around the quad or go to the aquatic center and work out. The main thing for me is being committed to managing my time well because working out is a priority for me. If I know I can’t work out at night because my son has baseball practice, then I work out during my lunch hour here on campus.  

What is your favorite physical activity?

Running! I got really into it after running the Crimson Couch to 5k and the Mayor’s Cup 5k. It’s a great stress reliever for me so that’s my me-time each week. I’m running the half next month and I just want to prove to myself I can do it! The first time I ran I just wanted to get through it but now I see how much more I can improve upon myself; it’s a great way to reset the week and my mind. I love my long run on Saturdays because I listen to my playlist and have my chill time.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

In the past eighteen months, I have lost over forty pounds and it’s been through making time to work out and following a clean eating program. I have eliminated most processed sugars and my lattes. I’ve done a lot of research and reading to learn how to substitute in healthier foods so now, for example, I have coffee and my lattes are for special occasions.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to go to Yellowstone!

Week of February 19, 2018: Candice Biby, Administrative Director at the University Medical Center, Candidate for Masters in Public Administration

Candice says, “On good days I like to be outdoors and I love to fish!”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I like to shake things up because if I go to the same place all the time it becomes too redundant for me. I’m a member of planet fitness, I have some home workout equipment, and I also like to go to Snow Hinton Park. If I can’t go to Snow Hinton park or Planet Fitness then I resort to my home gym. I also wear my Fibit religiously; I can dress to the nines and I still have this Fitbit on! I’m very conscientious of the Fitbit so at the minimum I would like to get 10,000 steps. I strive for more and sometimes it’s impossible, sometimes it’s not. I love anything outdoors like walking in the park or around my neighborhood and I walk my dogs a lot. For me, breaking up the monotony of the doing same thing every day is really what keeps me engaged as well as having my mind set on the steps.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Overall good health because I work here at the University Medical Center and I believe that we should role model for our community especially because we’re in the health field. The motivation for me is just being in health care and wanting to role model to patients and coworkers to practice what we preach. I also want to live a long, happy life and keep on going!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I’m sure a lot of people will say this but the biggest barrier is time. I go to class at night and then if I’ve got a test coming up, working out gets pushed to the side. So right now, the barriers for me are just being a graduate student as well as working full time. If it wasn’t for school, I would have more time.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I like a lot of things; I like to hike, walking of course, bicycling, and yoga. Yoga has been really fun and I’m a beginner so my health goal is to get better at yoga. I also find that yoga really helps you to relieve stress. I go to Yoga Bliss and then at my house I have a mat, blocks, and straps to switch it up and practice at home. When I’m at home doing yoga I can engage my husband and I get a lot of motivation from having him with me.

What are your overall health goals?

 Important health goals for me are to reach my 10,000 steps, get enough sleep, and be as stress free as I can. It’s very important to make sure I’m sleeping enough and I use my Fitbit for this. When I get enough sleep, it changes the whole day. If you get enough sleep and find ways to relax yourself, I think that is wonderful for your health.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Maintaining my 10,000 steps a day because every day when my Fitbit vibrates on my wrist and I get this celebration on my screen of fireworks, it’s just a reminder that I did what I wanted to. Every year at about this time, I strive to do five 5Ks around town. It’s important to me to do structured exercise through the 5Ks and I would love to do a half-marathon one day. As soon as I graduate in May and can put some more time into training that will be my goal. The 13.1 sticker will also be fun to have!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I’ve never snow skied! I’ve been in the snow and I’ve been to the mountains but I have never put on snow skis. I love to water ski because I’m from the Gulf Coast and so water skiing is like second nature to me.

What’s your favorite thing about being a WellBAMA ambassador?

Me and two other colleagues here at the University Medical Center got an email about it so we saw the opportunity to do more for our building. We see community patients all day long, so it’s important to me that we role model. By doing walking meetings and staying fit, the patients see that and we are role modeling for the community. An ambassador for me is to most importantly have fun, and secondly be that voice from University Medical Center to do internal things for our staff to role model for the community.

Week of February 12, 2018:  Anneliese Bolland, Assistant Research Scientist, Assistant Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research

Anneliese says, “I am a three-time graduate of UA in 3 different colleges, so I am quite academically diverse, and have taught in 7 different departments at UA and UAB in the past 4 years.

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I make time to run at least a mile and a half a day. I’ve done that since June 1st, so I’ve run 1.5 miles almost 250 days in a row. I also try to attend group exercise classes at the Rec Center and walk to meetings on campus when possible.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

We’re only just getting older! One thing that motivates me to stay active is that I have experienced how challenging it is to “get back into exercising.” Even if I take a week off, I feel like I am starting at square one! Starting at square one is doable and we all start somewhere, but if I don’t have to re-start every other month, it keeps me motivated. Plus, I’ve made great friends and feel like I am part of the community just from working out and taking group exercise classes. It’s fun!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

There are only 24 hours in a day! That’s one of the biggest barriers to keeping physically active. In addition to being jointly appointed in two offices, I am also an adjunct professor at UA and at UAB. There are often not enough hours in the day to get everything done. But, I also have to realize that it doesn’t take that many minutes to run 1.5 miles. So, I do it. Even if I’m running around my neighborhood with a headlamp in the evening.

What is your favorite physical activity?

It’s a toss-up between Daze (similar to Zumba) at the Rec Center and running. I became Zumba certified while I was working on my Ph.D. thinking it would be a great back-up career if I couldn’t find a job after graduation. I never had any real intention of teaching Zumba classes or being a group exercise instructor at the Rec Center. But, I was encouraged to try it after getting the Zumba certification. After a terrifying first class because I was so nervous, I realized that I LOVE it! I love teaching at the Rec and I love taking group exercises at the Rec, especially DAZE. It’s fun, the music is fun, the moves are fun, the community is fun. I like running too because the goals that you can achieve are just cool. I did the Couch to 5k about a decade ago and it worked! I was shocked because I didn’t think I would ever be able to run 13.1 miles, but doing the plan enabled me to finish the training. I do not enjoy running while I’m running, but after a run, whether it’s a mile or ten, I have some satisfaction knowing that I just accomplished something tough.

What made you decide to be a Well Bama ambassador?

I learned about WellBAMA ambassadors when I first was employed in 2014. I made a presentation for a college of education faculty meeting and they always do a wellness tip at the beginning of their meetings. Two of my friends gave the wellness tip and I found out they were WellBAMA ambassadors. I thought that’s cool, how do I get to do that? So, I applied and I’ve found it  is also a good way to be involved in the campus and to meet people who have similar interests. My department is super small so it was a good way to get involved in an area that’s interesting to me.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

I keep a spreadsheet for my running mileage. I keep a spreadsheet for EVERYTHING (even how many times I use my vitamix to ensure that I made it cost-effective). So, I’m almost at 250 days in a row for running at least a mile and a half. At the end of May, I’ll be at a year. I haven’t achieved that goal yet, but I have passed the 6 month goal of daily running.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Walking a marathon- can you do that? I think you can. My knees aren’t great, so I don’t think that I have any more running half marathons in my future, and I’m okay with that. But, I would love to have the time to train to walk a full marathon.

Week of February 5, 2018: Meagan Bennett, Marketing and Communications Manager in the Office of Information Technology, Graduate Student in Communication and Organizational Leadership

Meagan says, “I just love The University; I grew up coming to Bama games, went to school here, met my husband here, and even got married on campus right across the street in Smith Hall. The Capstone is a huge part of my life.”

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week

I’m training for the Mercedes half marathon and this is my first one so I’m following the Hal Higdon plan. I run three days a week, which includes a long run on Sunday and two five mile runs during the week. I also incorporate two strength training days. I live in Hoover but I work out at the Tuscaloosa YMCA immediately after work. The facility and equipment are brand new, it’s awesome!

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I love cute clothes. That’s really my motivation. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 14, and I am now at the point that my thyroid does not work at all, which means my body does not naturally produce energy. It’s up to me to control how I look and feel.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Being busy! I have grad school at night, and I work all day so I think it’s all about having a routine and having your workout on the calendar for that day. If you don’t have a plan, then it’s probably not going to happen.

What does your job entail?

OIT does a lot this campus! We provide wireless internet service, software solutions, make myBama functional, and work towards cyber security initiatives, such as DUO. It is my job to take the things that the IT folks are doing and translate them so everybody on campus can easily understand them.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Right now, it’s running. I didn’t ever think I could be a long-distance runner so I’ve proved myself wrong. I used to only ever run from a snake or if something was chasing me! I wanted to lose a couple of pounds and one of my friends said you should just start running, so I did.  Now I have a running partner which is great because we meet every Saturday.

Where do you run around the Tuscaloosa area?

I get bored and I don’t want to see the same things so I run the 5K loop. I love using my fitbit app since it tracks my run. I start in the OIT parking lot and go right by North Lawn, run down past Bryce, come back up by the rec center, take a right on University, and go all the way down. Then I take a right at Bruno Library, go down the hill, and finish the loop. I like to do a big loop so I know during the run how much farther I really have to go.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

I ran my first 10K in November and I’m also doing dry January which is a big thing for me. I’m a big meal prepper because I work out so much during the week that when I come home I just want to microwave something or pop it in the oven and be done. If I don’t meal prep, I will open a bag of chips or eat a bunch of stuff I don’t need to. On Sundays for two or three hours, I make an extensive grocery list, shop, and plan everything for the week. I also label everything ridiculously in the fridge so all I have to do is heat it up. I always do a different big protein-filled soup on Sunday so I can have it for three days for lunches.

What is one item on your bucket list?

A full marathon in Seaside, Florida because it’s going to be flat and we get to look at the beach!

Week of January 29, 2018:  Colin Barnes, Volunteer Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach, Doctoral Candidate for PhD in Sport Pedagogy through the Kinesiology Department

Colin holds two passports and he says, “I have my English parents to thank for that”!

What do you do to keep healthy and active throughout the week?

I’m a product of years of competitive team sports so I rely heavily on competition and being active through teaching and/or coaching. A lot of my activity is just being out on the field, coaching the team, and traveling around campus. I’m fortunate that I have a job that allows me to stay active through technically working. Since the team trains at least five days a week, I stay very active.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I get the thrill from playing things and with my personality, it’s hard to just sit down. When I go out, there’s gotta be a dart board, yard games, or whatever else so I stay active that way. Then, on the selfish level, it’s nice not to have to buy new clothes because things are fluctuating; it feels good to still be able to fit into my clothes.

What sparked your love of competitive sports?

I played soccer through college and professionally in the minor leagues. When you’re forced to do distances and go to the weight room, some people fall in love with it. For me, I just liked doing it because it was a competition with somebody else; there was something at the end. Nowadays I have to find a race or something to enter to give me purpose.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Off seasons because I’m not as physically active and there’s the depression of not being around the team, no practices, and no competition against others. Traveling is also a barrier because when you travel you eat at Lou Malnati’s and it’s not the best thing for your diet but you have to eat out. Typically, when you travel you are around people you haven’t seen in a while and you go to hang out and eat. It’s a good part of life to have the opportunity to travel and see people you haven’t seen but it gets youout of your routine. The biggest challenge is to stay in routine when your life isn’t in routine.

Where do you go to fulfill your love of competition during the off season?

There’s not a lot of opportunity around here for things that I do so I try and find friends to compete with whether it’s tennis or racquetball. Luckily I found that after I stopped playing soccer, golf is a good activity and a challenge. It gives the internal drive to see improvement which is what athletics did for me at a younger age.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Beach volleyball!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have tried to reduce meat because I have vegan roommates and they have affected me enough to make sure that I consume the right kind of products and put the right things in. You find out you can’t eat out as much because they don’t provide opportunities for the things I can eat.

What is one item on your bucket list?

A marathon, I’m still working on that one. I did the Tuscaloosa half a few years back but my friend’s wife does the marathon for St. Jude’s in Memphis during the beginning of December so that is my future goal. Couple the marathon with something that provides for others and it’s a good opportunity.

Week of January 22, 2018: Dawn Sandel, Music Therapist, CHES

Interesting facts about Dawn: “I’m originally from Ohio.  I sing and play various instruments, including piano, guitar, and ukulele.  I direct the RISE Center Bell Choir. The group performs at venues around the Tuscaloosa community during the holidays.  I traveled to Russia twice for a musical project called “The Hermitage Cats Save the Day”. We performed at UA, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.”

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

When I get to my desk in the morning, I fill up a water bottle and my goal is to drink it all before lunch is over. Setting a small goal like that gives me a sense of accomplishment! I have a fairly active job as the Music Therapist at the RISE Center. In order to keep a class of children engaged, you have to have high energy. Also, a co-worker and I are certified in POUND, the full body cardio “rockout workout”. We lead the RISE staff in a short exercise once each week, so we spend time preparing for that.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

It is difficult to stay motivated sometimes, especially when you have a sweet tooth like I do!  Having 3 children under age 9 helps! My husband is in the Air National Guard and he has physical training tests to pass, so our family often goes running on the Riverwalk. I also try to think of my health long term. Observing some of the health challenges my family members have experienced motivates me to be proactive.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love to dance!

Are there any barriers that keep you from being physically active?

A barrier to staying physically active? TIME! Having 3 kiddos and a furbaby, working full time, and having a husband who commutes 1 hour to work each day (Univ. of West Alabama) all contribute to the challenge of staying active amidst everyone’s responsibilities and activities.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Getting certified in POUND (September 2017) and Yoga for Kids (December 2017), and drinking more water. I have lost a few pounds, but my ultimate goal is to lose a total of 36 pounds by my 36th birthday on June 11th. Pray for me!

What is one item on your bucket list?

Honestly, I don’t really have one. I love music and traveling and trying new things, so anything makes the list!

Week of December 18, 2017: Nick Frenz, Transportation Services, Assistant Director of Event Management

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I work out at least 3 times a week and sometimes 5 times a week depending on how busy I am. I go for about an hour each day and try to focus on cardio and some weights. I mainly do it to keep active and try not to focus on anything specific. I also take walks around campus to get out of the office. I can use my phone as my office so when I have some emails to catch up on, I will take a walk around campus and answer them.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I’m getting older! I’m just trying to take better care of myself as I get older. I didn’t do too well when I was younger and in my twenties. When I got into my thirties, I started to enjoy going to the gym. My body feels better after and I don’t feel so stiff.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy running. I go through a lot of stress during football season and there is a lot of things I have to manage on a game day. It is a huge stress reliever and it helps clear my head a good bit. It also helps out my attitude for work.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Yes, when I got married last year, we went on our honeymoon and I made the mistake of getting on the scale at the resort. I saw how far I have gone so I made the decision to lose twenty pounds. I’ve managed to cut the weight off and keep it off. I have my Fitbit tracker on all the time and during game days it helps me see how active I am because I am not able to get in the gym during those days.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Well, last year I knocked something off my bucket list and it was being able to go to Italy and see my family history. Next on my bucket list would try to visit Europe, Scotland, England and places like that. I have always wanted to see some of the famous golf courses in the other countries.

Has anyone helped you out in achieving these goals and maintaining your physical activity?

My wife! She runs a lot and is very fit. Once you get married and get away from the bachelor life, you actually have someone who takes care of you and makes sure you are eating healthy. We kind of lean on each other and pressure ourselves about going to the gym and eating healthy.

Week of December 11, 2017: Jan Dunlap, Transportation Services, Traffic Maintenance

Jan says, “I love my family, my life & my job!”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I walk 5 miles a day, I don’t smoke and I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I want to live a long productive life to be around for my family & grandchildren and I have to stay healthy in order to do my job.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love walking.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

I wear my Fitbit everyday and try to get more than my 10,000 steps a day.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to retire when I am 60 and still be in good shape!

Week of December 4, 2017: Margaret Purcell, Faculty, New College Life Track and Political Science

Margaret and her husband live on a farm and are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our F1’s of our trademarked line of cattle Katie Farms
Highland Red™. Baby watch is underway for these precious calves!

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I make walking a regular part of every day. I choose to park so that I can get a good walk in on the way to and from work, and I walk once I get home each day. If my schedule prohibits walking one day, I make up the time on a subsequent day. I make walking a priority.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I want to enjoy my life with as few health problems as possible. By choosing to eat well, to include daily exercise, and to maintain a resilient attitude, I am taking responsibility for my health.

Are there any barriers that keep you from being physically active?

Time is the most challenging issue to manage – especially now that the days are shorter. If I am not able to walk outside after work, I make a point to walk at lunch or in a building (like the mall) after work. I also have an exercise bike at home, but I prefer to walk outside when possible.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love to be outside. I love to walk to and at the farm. When the weather is bad or the time gets away from me, I can always walk in the mall.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

In the last year I lost 50 pounds as a participant in UA’s Weight Watchers at Work program.  The social support and resources of the program helped me to stay focused and to achieve slow but steady weight loss. Even though I have now met my weight loss goal and am a lifetime  member, I look forward to the meetings and am disappointed when I can’t attend.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I am enjoying being able to stay physically active as a middle aged woman. There are many things that one cannot control in life, but one can choose: to foster a healthy mindset, to be mindful of what and how much one eats, and to include activity in each day. I want to one day be the 80 year-old that folks can’t keep up with.

Week of November 20, 2017: Stephanie Pruitt, Program Assistant, Student Life/External Relations

Stephanie says, “My oldest son is a sophomore here at UA and I just recently applied to UA as well to finish my degree. It will be interesting to know that he and I both will be UA students.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Monday through Thursday I walk to the Aquatic Center at lunch and participate in the group exercise classes. I also work on the third floor of Rose and will normally take the stairs to my office.  According to my Fitbit, I usually have 10-15 flights of stairs that I have climbed each day. I also try to do some form of cardio exercise at least 3 times a week at home when possible.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My motivation started back in January when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I knew that I needed to get healthy and lose some weight in order to feel better and be able to function daily without pain. My Fitbit has been a great motivator since it shows my progress and makes me strive to do more.

Are there any barriers that keep you from being physically active?

I have the normal barriers that we all have, such as not much free time, tired, being a mother of three busy boys, and just life in general. I also have to work around the flare ups of my RA and make sure I listen to my body and not do too much.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I really enjoy the group exercise classes. I have co-workers that also go so it gives me motivation.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

Since January, I have lost 50 pounds by removing sugar from my diet, eating more vegetables and exercising regularly. My RA symptoms have gone from severe to almost normal so that is a
big achievement for me.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to visit Italy one day.

 

Week of November 13, 2017: Melvin Jones, Lead A, Logistics

Now and Before

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I just started a new rotation where I do three days on and one day off. I found that it still gives my body time to recoup. On the one off day, I actually work on cardio. The other three days, I focus on weights because the more muscle mass you have, the more you burn. I also watch what I eat. Lifestyle change has been crucial because I don’t want the weight to come back. I have worked too hard to get where I am today.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Just looking at my family history, I have a lot of people who are overweight with diabetes and have had heart attacks and such. Because of this, I’ve made a pact to myself that if I do go, it’s not going to be because of something that I can control. I also like being someone that people look up too. Still till this day, even when I was that big, I helped a lot of people over the years and they still come to me for help. I was feeling like a hypocrite because I was helping people meet their goals but I was still asking myself, where am I with my own goals? It really made me check myself.

Are there any barriers that keep you from being physically active?

No, because I am the type of person that once I set my mind to something I am going to do it. Most people shut down when negative things happen but I find myself using bad things to refuel my tank and keep myself motivated. I also have some weights at home if I can’t get to the gym. Another thing I do is practice my posing. I use to compete in body building so there are several poses that we go through. I put it on the lines of Yoga and Pilates. I work on holding contractions and this helps me work on my endurance as well.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I personally like using the Arc Trainer. It’s a form of an elliptical machine where you can actually go through a full sprinting motion. I work on interval training where it takes me through highs and lows so I can go all out, recoup, and repeat. I also get on the treadmill with a weighted pack on my cardio days. I will usually put a 25lb or 45lb weight in the pack while walking at a high incline without holding on. To keep my metabolic rate up since I have lost so much weight, I use the weights to replace the old weight that I use to have.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

 I reached my goal as far as weight and got down from 310lbs to 255lbs. I recently participated in a WellBama Health Screening and the results showed that everything was great across the board. This helped me see that I really have changed my eating habits and lifestyle otherwise those numbers would have been way out of whack.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I have always wanted to do a Tough Mudder run and I would really like to do it with my kids one day.

How would you relate WellBama’s Health Promotion Program to previous Worksite Wellness Programs?

I was at WalMart for 13 years and Home Depot for about 10 years. They would tell me basic things like drink more water or make sure you stretch out every day. Neither one of those companies even came close to what we have here so it really makes me appreciate what The University has to offer.

Week of November 6, 2017: Holly Grof, Dining Services Coordinator, Enterprise Operations

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I have the need to walk across campus thankfully because of my job. I enjoy being outside and I won’t let the weather get in the way. Walking around campus and going on the RiverWalk with my friends is my favorite. I try to walk wherever I go on campus. I wear my FitBit and also participate in the challenges through WELLBama. We also participate in Tai – Chi and Yoga to help stay in shape.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My family and loved ones really help me out and keep me inspired. Also, when I realized what my blood pressure and triglyceride numbers were after a WELLBama Health Screening, I knew a lady at my age needed to do something about it so it wouldn’t get worse. My biggest moment was when I went to the doctor and he told me that I need to be put on blood pressure medication if I didn’t reduce it soon. He told me my lipid profiles also did not look good so with my Nutrition background, I knew what I needed to do.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite activity is Roller Derby. I am on the Druid City Dames team. I enjoy team sports because it is easier for me to go to practice and games rather than the gym. Mindfulness and Yoga really help me out also because my last job was very stressful and this helps me mix it up so I am not just focused on weights or walking.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

I recently lost 45 lbs and to be honest, WELLBama really helped me do it. I joined Weight Watchers at Work and started walking everywhere and using the stairs. After the Health Screening, I started working on lowering my lipids and blood pressure. My Triglycerides have dropped from 251 four years ago, too 106 this year! We always participate in the Couch to 5K and other events.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to travel to London with my family and loved ones. I want to show them where I use to live and enjoy a relaxing vacation with them.

Week of October 30, 2017: Ashlie Bowman, Training Specialist, Advancement Services

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I’m a fitness instructor at the rec center part time. I also teach throughout the week and enjoy going to other classes that my friends lead. We do everything from cardio to strength training and yoga. I spend most of my time in the gym doing weight training and cardio but occasionally enjoy getting outdoors to go hiking, kayaking, or play disc golf with friends.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My friends that I have made here are my true motivators. Some of my best friends are at the gym. I also get paid to work out so money is always a great incentive.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time and other obligations are always a hassle to work around. The cold weather is another thing that will keep me tucked away inside. I don’t want to get out and run in 40-degree weather.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Group fitness is my favorite because I learn from others along the way. When I see another person decide to pick up a heavier weight than usual, it makes me want to work harder. It keeps it fun and it keeps me engaged.

Are there any health-related goals you have achieved lately?

Last year I lost about 20 pounds exercising. I also gained some back over the holidays but ended up losing another 15 pounds this year. My diet has also changed. I find myself eating more vegetables and I feel overall healthier. My clothes fit better and I just feel better.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would really like to make a trip to every continent. I have already been to Africa, Europe, and of course North America. I spent a semester in Spain and a week in Paris.

What has WellBama done for you?

The reason I went on my recent weight loss journey is because I did my screenings and went through the WellBama program. I noticed all of my numbers were perfect except for my BMI. I had been exercising a little bit but that was my motivator to try and lower my BMI. WellBama is what inspired me!

Week of October 16, 2017: Warren Burns, Tech I, Logistics

Warren has been married to his wife Traci for 22 years and has a 15-year-old daughter who is in the 10th grade at American Christian Academy. He says, ” I love the great outdoors that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ made for us to enjoy.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

The logistics department does a lot of moving of furniture and setting up of tents around campus for different events so i get a pretty good workout most days at work. After work, I  usually get home and rest a few minutes before putting on my gym shorts and tennis shoes and  go jogging/walking around the neighborhood . Also, I love to play tennis every chance I get . My daily fitbit goal is 15,000 steps. Most days I get anywhere from 15,000-27,000 steps a day.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My motivation comes from a few years ago, I developed multiple blood clots in my lungs and one in my left leg. I started having shortness of breath real bad one day and knew something wasn’t
right.  My wife rush me to the emergency room at DCH where I spent 3 days in ICU.  I was told if I would have waited another day, I might not be here today. The news I received made me start
striving to lose weight and eat healthier.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My only barrier to staying physically active is free time with church, family, and work taking up about all of my time.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love playing tennis with friends and family.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve lost over 25 lbs. and would like to lose about another 15 lbs.   Also, my fitbit goal of  25,000 steps in a day was reached when I got 27,000+ one day.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to go on a safari hunting expedition to South Africa.

Week of October 9th, 2017: Donna Blackburn, Director, Executive MBA Program

Donna says,” As Director of the Executive MBA I direct our EMBA programs in Tuscaloosa and in Huntsville, and our EMBA Alumni Network with over 890 alumni. I hold a B.A. in Journalism and a M.S. in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University. I have been at The University of Alabama for 11 years where one of my favorite parts of my job is to plan our required international trip for our EMBAs. This year we went to Saigon, Vietnam and Singapore as part of their required Global Business course.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I enjoy walking and try and complete a 5K walk every day. The River Walk is amazing and on Saturday and Sunday mornings it is a great way to start the day. On the weekends, I do push myself to go farther and complete a four to five mile circuit. I also do weights at the gym two to three times a week. I’m not crazy about cold weather so in the winter I have a stationary bike I can use at home. About three years ago I took a beginner’s running class, and have since that time completed several 5K races and will be doing another one next weekend for the Humane Society in Northport.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

The University Fitbit Program has been extremely motivating. The Fitbit reminds me to move and I love the fireworks when I hit my goal. The Fitbit challenges have been fun and I encourage others to join. Another big motivation is maintaining my health. I love to travel. So far, I have visited 39 countries and our EMBA trip to Ecuador next year visiting Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands will make #40. Staying healthy will ensure that when I am ready to check another place off my bucket list I will be in good shape to do so.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

SITTING AT A DESK! Ugh, we are so tethered to technology. Sometimes I think my thumbs, which are constantly texting are getting more of a workout then the rest of my body.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love walking.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am trying to drink more water. I am also pushing myself to exceed my stepping goals each week.

What is one item on your bucket list?

It’s a toss up, there are two places on my bucket list that I have never been and would like to walk – the Grand Canyon Track (which takes about 3-1/2 hours) and to walk in the Outback in Australia.

Week of October 2, 2017: Brodrick “Brodie” Ryans, Operations Coordinator, School of Social Work

Brodie is originally from Tuscaloosa. He moved away for school to attend the University of Mobile. He traveled in a music ensemble there for 3 years called The Sounds of Mobile, and was the booking and tour manager for the group his Junior and Senior years. Brodie is also very involved in theater here in town and in Birmingham, and performed in 3 shows; Dreamgirls, Spelling Bee, and Ragtime this summer.   All while still working full time here in the school of Social Work.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I usually try to work out 2-3 times a week. I am typically busy working during the day and then working a 2nd job at night so I work out pretty late, but I still try to fit in time to be
healthy and to move. Also, being active in theater helps. Having to dance sing, and move
staging elements helps to keep your heart rate up and the physical exercise you get is pretty awesome. You don’t really realize the kind of work out you’ve gotten until you take a break.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I am actually a type 1 diabetic so the staying active and moving is actually good for me in
terms of healthy blood flow and my heart. I am mostly motivated by the fact that being active and exercising helps me to unwind. I can take time and reflect on myself and tune out the rest of the world for an hour or so and it’s a really great feeling.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My biggest barrier is definitely time. It’s so easy to make the “time excuse” and to put things off. The honest truth is that we will never have enough time to do all the things that we really want to do, but if we can pinpoint the areas in our lives where we waste time or spend time doing things that are not beneficial to us and replace those times with exercise and light movement it can make a huge difference. It’s like I said earlier most of my work-outs happen later in the day when I can focus and unwind.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love playing beach volleyball, baseball, or just dancing. When you can connect the things
you enjoy doing with exercise it helps you to not feel like you’re actually exercising.

 Bryans3Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am starting to really get control of my diabetes and not feel that it effects my day to day
life as much and I am very proud of that. I am also proud of the healthy and positive
thinking that I have been doing lately. I have learned that health choices aren’t just
physical.  I am also proud of the fact that I was able to be a top stepper. I actually broke my Fitbit so I was shocked when I got the news that I actually made the list.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to be a traveling artist. A note for the photos: one is an action shot from Dreamgirls this summer and the second is an action shot from a Christmas performance with Sounds of Mobile.

Week of September 25th, 2017: Doug Smith, Assistant Director, Ferguson Student Center

Doug has completed the Blue Ridge hiking Triple Crown loop.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

The nature of my position at the University keeps me on my feet, but I recently started a training plan for a half marathon. That means four runs of varying lengths and two days of some other type of training each week. When I got to UA I experimented with intermittent fasting for the first time, but the new training does not work well with that technique. The fasting did provide a good jump start to get back on a health kick.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

It is really just how I feel. I don’t want to make it harder to do my job by getting lazier in my personal life. I also know working out is a good stress reliever.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy playing basketball. I played every Friday prior to coming to the University, but have yet to find any friendly games here.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time and mental stigmas, which can go together. There is a fine line between being worn out and having the energy to put in the work. Routines work best for me to get around the barriers.

 Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve lost some weight, but there is still more to lose. I created that running plan and signed up for a race with the ultimate goal of the half marathon in November.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to finish a century ride on the bike.

Week of September 18th, 2017: Cathy Pagani, Associate Dean, Graduate School

Photo: Tuscaloosa News

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

There are a number of physical activities that are scheduled throughout my week. I am a Personal Trainer at the Rec and I teach Indoor/Outdoor classes also.  I try to do at least 2 activities per day which may include something similar to one session of cardio and the other in resistance training. I never do the same exercise or routine so it always keeps it interesting for me. I think I am in better shape now in terms of posture and overall strength than I was 15 years ago because I am being more thoughtful on everything I do. I think about resistance training and kettle bells for lightweight lifting at home. I also try to do 20 push-ups everyday no matter if I am in the office or outside.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I’m motivated because I really do just feel so much better after I exercise. I like to know that if I trip or fall that I will be able to catch myself. Having upper body strength helps me not worry as much about having something fall on me and not being able to pick it up and move it. Having functional strength is also important with gaining age and knowing that we lose muscle as we get older helps remind me that I need to stay on top of this.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Right now, I enjoy getting on my bike outside. There is a real joy when I can get out there and ride 25 or so miles. The connection between myself and the bike along with the beautiful weather and being outside with other riders makes it all worth it. Running and swimming are other favorites but cycling is my absolute favorite. On rainy days, I can easily step inside and still be able to enjoy the indoor cycling with other riders.

 Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have recently lost 18 lbs.! The weight gain originally came from stress and depression strictly from not being able to work out due to a leg injury. After finally healing and learning about how my body was reacting to the situation, I figured instead of exercising like a maniac in the gym like the previous days, I could start focusing more on how I was eating and start finessing the little things. Working out in smaller increments and being more cautious about my diet was the first step for me. My overall wellness is better now than when I was training for Iron Man.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to qualify for the World Championship Iron Man. I have done one in the past and I loved it. The last one included a 2.4-mile swim, 160-mile bike ride in the Chattanooga Hills, and then we had to run a marathon!

Other Quotes:
The hardest thing for me is to make the right decision first thing in the morning.”

“If I tend to start my day out with a good decision, I tend to have good decisions for the rest of the day”

“You have to have a rest day!”

Week of September 11th, 2017: Jason Kuykendall, Electronic Technician, Sr., Physics and Astronomy

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I typically enjoy sticking to my routine walks in the morning and walking locally at lunch time with friends. The Fitbit is easy and simple because it basically updates everything on its own. I also try to make a trip to the gym two or three times a week to stay healthy.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I have developed a routine that gets my day started and allows time for me to clear my head. I stay motivated knowing that keeping up with my health will allow me to stay young.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is just mainly the walking. It is straight to the point.

 Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I haven’t achieved any specific health goals lately but the walking has allowed me to stay fresh and keep my head cleared for work and everyday life.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Hiking the Appalachian Trails is something I would love to do.

 What would you do without Fitness and Physical Activity?

Without physical activity, I would be bored and completely out of shape.

Week of September 4th, 2017:  Emily Stephens, Area Coordinator, Housing and Residential Communities

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I have joined the Fitbit bandwagon recently and it has made me more aware of the steps I take throughout the day! One perk about being in HRC is a lot of our meetings are in a different building then where our office is, so I walk everywhere. I also try to walk around campus everyday after work especially with being new to campus it helps me learn where things are so I can assist students when they ask.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

When I exercise and stay active it make me feel great and I also tend to make better choices throughout the day. If I am able to walk in the morning I eat better throughout the day, so it is a win-win!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I am not a morning person so I struggle sometimes waking up early to exercise so that is a barrier that I continuously face!

What is your favorite physical activity?

I really enjoy walking because it is simple and you get to enjoy the outdoors. You can get a little tan and just take your time while thinking to yourself. It is also fun to walk while listening to music because you can be in your own little world without a care!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to participate in a Disney Princess Half Marathon one day while wearing a tutu!

Week of August 28th, 2017: Alicia Browne, Director of College Relations, Honors College

Alicia says, “We love to travel, and staying healthy and active to keep traveling is really important.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I like to walk because it can be done anywhere and just about any time. I like to walk outside in good weather, and I use that time to try out new podcasts, but I’m happy walking on the treadmill as well. I’m a morning person, and I try to walk before work every day, since things tend to crop up during the day, and if I put it off, I might never find time to exercise. If the weather is not too hot, I like to get outside and walk during lunch. It’s a great way to clear my head and recharge during the day. Surprisingly, I find it harder to keep up with exercise during the weekend, when there should be more time, but it’s just a strong sense of my routine before work that I actually achieve more on weekdays.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My parents both had heart disease, so exercise, especially cardio, is really important to me.  And, of course, my kids and family are really great motivators to stay healthy and active as long as possible. My husband works out every morning, so his dedication prompts me to get moving.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time is probably the biggest barrier, but I think you have to make your health a priority. I give up sleeping later to make sure that I have time to exercise in the morning, and it’s an easy trade off for me.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I like to walk, but I also really like the Pilates Reformer class I’m in at the rec center. I tried yoga this year, as well, just because I wanted to try something new, and I really liked it. I’ve tried several kinds of things, including water aerobics and Jazzercise, but walking remains a constant for me.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve increased my step count this year, which took planning to find time in the day to walk more. I really like having a Fitbit because I like to see tangible results. It keeps me motivated and holds me accountable.

What is one item on your bucket list?

My kids say we talk about this all the time, but my husband and I really want to visit Russia some day.

Week of August 21st, 2017: David Ford, Director of Business Honor Program, Management Department, Culverhouse College of Commerce

David in Cambodia in 2012

David is an ex-crime scene detective in Naval Aviation during Vietnam.  He started at UA in 1997 as Adjunct faculty and began working full-time at the University after retiring from Cintas Corp in 2002.   He is also the Vice-Chair of the Tuscaloosa Sister Cities International Board and Chair of the Finance Committee;  Treasurer of the Crimson Racket Club (Men’s & Women’s Varsity Tennis Boosters); and tournament Director for the Roberta Allison Women’s Collegiate Tennis Invitational for 19 years.  When David started participating in WellBAMA, he was 40-45 lbs heavier and 4-5 inches bigger in the waist.  He says,” WellBAMA is the reason I am much healthier now than when I was 15-20 years younger.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Walk at least 10,000 steps per day, get at least 8 hours of sleep, eat good meals I cook myself, have great relationships with family and friends. Try to challenge myself physically and mentally as often as possible. Travel frequently and participate in outdoor activities all over the country/world and work out with a Personal Trainer at the UREC 2-3 days per week.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I want to be able to teach until I am 90 and to still be able to function as close to normal as I do today. Want to continue to be able to travel, drive, open a new pickle jar.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I am legally at least 20% disabled from my military service and a birth defect (clubbed foot).  So I have to deal with advanced and still advancing osteoarthritis and the accompanying daily pain issues.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking around campus, downtown, the River Walk, my neighborhood, and walking to explore new cities or country side when traveling.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 14,500 feet last month (tandem skydiving), proof my heart works well and I have adequate adrenaline to deal with a scary situation. LOL

What is one item on your bucket list?

Alaskan cruise

Week of August 14th, 2017: Diane Cannon, Library Associate, Gorgas Library

Diane likes to participate in 5K’s around Tuscaloosa.  She says, “I’ve completed 21 over the last 5 years, including UA’s CC25Ks, Mayor’s Cups, Diabetes Walks, MS Walk, and Heart Walks.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I walk with a co-worker every weekday morning. We meet at 6am, and walk around campus, down to the Riverwalk, downtown, or over to 15th Street. We take a different route everyday to keep it interesting. I also walk the quad or the libraries’stacks (depending on the weather) on breaks and lunch. I try to surpass my 15,500 goal on Fitbit everyday. I am a Weight Watchers member too, so that helps on keep on track with my eating.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I had a heart attack 10 years ago, and then was diagnosed as a diabetic about 5 years ago. So, ultimately, I want to get off the meds and just life a healthy lifestyle.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

None, really. Some days my knees hurt, but I apply my Young Living Essential Oils, and put my Asics on and go! It helps knowing a friend is meeting me for our morning walks!

What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking. I also like bike riding, but for years it’s only been a stationary bike!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve lost 45 lbs. over the last few years through Weight Watchers and taking part in Wellness activities.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to travel to Italy after I retire.

Week of August 7th, 2017: Caleb Hill, Fire Alarm Technician, Environmental Health & Safety

Caleb is a former professional wrestler, and currently looking to get back into the ring.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

When I started on this healthier lifestyle my motto was “Every little bit counts.” So I try to find every possible way to do something physical, simple things like walking more and always taking the stairs instead of the elevator. My main time of exercise is during my lunch break at the Aquatic Center, there I will either be hitting the weights or in the pool. If you see me in there, stop and say hello!

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My motivation is my family. I want this body to go as far as I can take it, and be healthy and active when I’m older.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time is my enemy. The demands of family and job keep me busy, but I can still find ways in those situations to be active.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Weights have always been my go to. Lifting always wears me out, but the satisfaction you feel after a workout is awesome.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve lost 75 pounds since I started this journey. I feel amazing, I sleep better, and my favorite part now is encouraging people around me to better their lives.

What is one item on your bucket list?

The only thing I have on my list is for my son to see me in the ring one day. To have one more match and have my son see his dad in the ring is one of the main reasons I really started to get my body back in order.

Week of July 31st, 2017: Heath Hudson, Irrigation Technician, Grounds Department

Heath has worked for UA for 5 years.  You won’t find Heath sitting much.  He is always moving throughout the day keeping our irrigation systems working properly.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Well, in my opinion, the three major factors as far as keeping active and being healthy is water, a good healthy breakfast, and consistency. Each day you wake up, the first thing you put in your body determines what kind of day you’re going to have.   Good fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are crucial in a well-balanced breakfast to maintain efficiency throughout the day.  A good breakfast helps you stay energized and healthier.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My wife and kids motivate me. I want to live as long as I possibly can to watch my children grow into young adults and have children of their own. 

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

There will always be things that you can put first before going to the gym or getting some sort of physical activity.   But, over the years, I have realized that if you have time to Facebook, tweet, or watch television, you have time to exercise.  You don’t have to be a member at a gym to exercise.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is lifting weights. It’s a great stress reliever and you can burn twice the amount of calories in 30 minutes than you would walking or jogging. 

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

My main goal each and every day is to wake up and be better today than I was yesterday.   Don’t worry about being the supermodel in a swimsuit or the biggest muscles walking around town. Set your personal goals and keep them realistic.   This isn’t a fairytale.

What is one item on your bucket list?

One day I would love to do some backpacking in Aspen, Colorado.

Week of July 24th, 2017: Tanya Gille, Professor of Piano, Department of Music

Tanya says, “In 2003, I left a very secure position and colleagues and students I dearly loved at the University of Colorado at Boulder to take a job at UA. I soon realized that I would have to dramatically change my workaholic lifestyle in order to survive. With gratitude for some exceptional people at UA (Bob Witt and Ed Cleino), I would describe my journey to physical fitness this way: If life gives you lemons, learn to dance and grow citrus fruit.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Fitness activities include ballroom dance, gardening, yoga, zumba, and walking. As a Master Gardener for 25 years, I have done extensive renovations of my large yard, bit by bit since 2003. It has been featured in various garden tours and events. (Such things take over my life for the prior months of preparation.)

I try to eat foods in the acronym “G-BOMBS” every day. This stands for greens, berries, onions, mushrooms, beans, seeds and nuts. I grow many kinds of herbs and greens, which I use in almost every meal with a special emphasis on turmeric, ginger, and garlic. (I can’t eat out very much and be healthy. However, if someone cooks for me I am happy to eat whatever is served.)

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I want to be stronger in order to do competitive ballroom dancing at the highest level possible. Also, my dogs are always ready for a walk. Finally, I like to grow (organically) and cook my own food as much as possible.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Years ago, I had disabling chronic conditions that made it difficult to exercise or even to walk at times. Sitting for long hours every day at the piano and at my desk did not promote fitness.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Ballroom dancing

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I was diagnosed with fairly severe arthritis in one ankle several years ago, probably due to using that foot on a garden shovel. I was limping and needed an ankle brace for serious dancing. For the most part, I no longer have joint pain. (I am 67; I don’t regularly take pharmaceuticals other than turmeric and vitamin D.)

What is one item on your bucket list?

Improve: weight loss/sleep/meditation. (That’s more than one, but they tend to overlap.) I lost a significant amount of weight in 2004 and struggle every day to maintain it. Beyond that, my bucket overflows.

Week of July 14th, 2017: Julie Elmore, Manager, Greek Housing and Properties, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life

Julie has worked at the University for almost 26 years and has been a member of the Rec Center for about 24 years. She enjoys walking first thing in the morning.  She says, “It’s how I start my day. Some people have to have their coffee in the morning….I need my walk.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I walk 3 miles every morning with my dog – even if it is raining, but not if it’s storming.  When it’s not too hot outside, I walk to the Rec Center where I participate in Pilates Reformer classes three days a week and group exercise classes two days a week. I park in the farthest parking space in the parking deck for work and close to the top of hill at the Rec Center when I do have to drive. If I have the option, in most cases, I will take the stairs instead of the elevator – I hate elevators after getting stuck in one when I was little. On the weekends, I walk in the morning and take my dog to the UA arboretum in the afternoon where she can run and I can walk. I only drink water and very rarely eat fried foods, but I do enjoy French fries every now and then! I appreciate the variety of classes that University Recreation provides and with many of them, you don’t get hot enough to need a shower before returning to work so there’s no excuse for not going.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My family has a history of heart disease, arthritis, and cancer so exercising and eating healthy are important to me. Following knee surgery 8 years ago, I realized that the exercises I was doing during physical therapy were similar to those we do in group exercise classes, except that the classes provide strength training for the entire body as well as help with balance, and a Rec Center membership is cheaper than physic therapy! I also have back issues and the group exercise classes and Pilates Reformer classes have helped tremendously with maintaining flexibility and balance, as well as improving strength.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

The only barriers are the weather – when it’s storming, snowing, or too hot to walk.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love walking outside and going to classes at noon at the Rec Center. It provides an opportunity for me to get out of the office, and I feel relaxed and rejuvenated when I return.  It is my stress relief in the middle of the day.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

A few years ago, I stopped drinking soft drinks and sweet tea and I lost 8-9 pounds. I have been able to keep that weight off by staying active.

What is one item on your bucket list?

My husband and I just returned from a trip out West to the South Dakota area. I would love to take a trip up the East coast next.

Week of July 10th, 2017: Betty Key, Instructor, Capstone College of Nursing

Screen shot 2017-07-07 at 9.38.46 AMBetty was retired for two weeks and is now beginning her second career here at the UA.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I try as often as possible to get my Fitbit 10,000 step goal in daily. I also try to workout at the gym at least 2-3 times per week. Of course working out is no good without eating right, so I try to eat healthy as often as possible also and avoid fast foods.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I am motivated to exercise and stay active because I feel better and have more energy when I am active. I feel that exercise keeps the body and mind youthful.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time is my biggest barrier to keeping active. I always have a list of things that I am working on so I have to make a conscious effort to dedicate at least an hour or two to exercise.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is walking. I enjoy long, relaxing walks.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I recently joined a new gym here in town and it is quite intense. Making it through the workouts is helping me to take my exercise goals to the next level.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Run a Disney half-marathon.

Week of July 3rd, 2017: Amy Nichols, Communications Specialist, Strategic Communications

Amy says, “I have always struggled to make exercise a habit. But after a scare with ovarian cancer, and with two small children who are watching how I live life, it’s important to me to model those healthy habits and be as good of a steward as I can be of my body.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I try to take short walks around the building to get my blood flowing and help me think through tasks at work. I also just started back to running after having my second baby–I had to get a partner to meet me a few times a week to run before work because unfortunately, I don’t have the willpower to make it happen if someone isn’t depending on me!

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

We only have one body. And I have the freedom to eat whatever I want and be a couch potato (and I do that some days!), but long term and overall, I want to steward this body well. My kids are watching. I don’t want to obsess so much about how I look because they’ll get enough of that from culture. I don’t want my daughter to see my looking for thigh gap (ha!) or always worrying about the scale or my dress size. But I DO want her to see my making physical fitness and healthy eating habits a priority.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I do activities I enjoy–walking, running to music or with a friend, outside and never around a track. For me, tracks and treadmills get too boring. I like to blaze my own trail when I’m running–whether it’s around my neighborhood, on campus, or downtown–these are my favorite places for outdoor exercise. And I try to have 30 minutes of intentional cardio exercise 3-5 times a week. But like I said earlier, it helps me to have a friend who’s committed to it with me. If it’s just for me, I’m likely to hit “snooze” five times. But if someone’s counting on me, I’m gonna get out of bed!

What is your favorite physical activity?

Running

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Right now, I’m just trying to get my running back up to speed. I’m still in the process of getting back at it after pregnancy and delivery. Finding time to do it while maintaining breastfeeding and keeping up with two kids is tough, but it’s worth it.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I’d like to go to Italy and see all the touristy attractions. And eat lots of great Italian food. And maybe go for a run or two. 🙂

Week of June 26th, 2017: Paige Linne, Western Equestrian Coach, Financial Affairs

Paige grew up in Arizona before going to school at Texas A&M. During her undergraduate years, she rode for the varsity equestrian team; while working on her masters she had a chance to coach a club team, which is when she found her purpose pouring into the lives of students. She has hiked the Grand Canyon once (to the bottom) and will be backpacking it again this August.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Since I just moved to Tuscaloosa and started work, I can’t say it’s quite a routine yet…but I have been getting up early in the morning on weekdays to weight train and do some cardio. I have found that it helps get my mind right before work, and if I can wake up and have a strong workout then I’ve already accomplished something that day and am off to a solid start. On weekends I like to do either a hike or a long walk, I have a retriever who has a ton of energy to get out so she enjoys that.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

As a coach, I’m a big believer in building people of character, not just talent. A lot of those beliefs come back to pushing yourself to be better every day, which I do my best to live by and not just preach. I also love the feeling of strength and empowerment that a good workout can give you, and it’s a good anchor when our lives get crazy.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

The snooze button! First thing in the morning we generally aren’t feeling incredibly motivated or inspired, but I try to remind myself that if I want my riders to be hard workers and get better every day, I have to expect it of myself too!

What is your favorite physical activity?

Riding, of course! I have ridden horses since I was a kid, so that’s a huge part of my life and will continue to be therapeutic for me. There’s just something about being outside with those amazing animals that can make everything in life seem better. Being from Arizona originally, I also love hiking. If anyone has some good trail recommendations in the area, I would love to hear them!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

During my college career, I blew out one knee and fractured the other along with a ligament sprain. Coming back from both of those injuries was really challenging physically and mentally, but in the end, they made me a better person and I’m glad to have grown personally as a result of them.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would really love to do a big extended backpacking trip on the John Muir trail!

Week of June 19th, 2017: Cecile Komara, Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies

Cecile teaches courses in Early Childhood Education and Child Development and has been at the University for 10 years.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I go to group exercise classes at the Student Recreation Center. Sometimes, I walk on the treadmill and lift weights. I try to work out every work day evening, so about 5 days a week.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I have a work-out buddy from the same department. We motivate each other to workout each evening.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Evening meetings are the biggest barrier. Also, at the end of the semester when I get swamped with grading.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy dancing and group exercise. My favorite is DAZE class!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I recently (fall semester) inflamed my plantar fascia in my right foot. Walking has been hard. My most recent UA accomplishment was to finish the Couch to 5k in an hour. My most personal accomplishment in May was to be able to walk comfortably while touring China (see picture).

What is one item on your bucket list?

To lose weight.

Week of June 12th, 2017: Sarah Wever, Academic Advisor/Ph.D. Student in Higher Education, College of Engineering

Sarah says, “I have been at the University of Alabama for 5 years. I was a Masters student from 2012-2014, then a clinical fellow in the Department of Communicative Disorders, a full-time Ph.D. student in Higher Education Administration and graduate research assistant, and now an academic advisor for the College of Engineering while I am finishing my Ph.D.! The University of Alabama has provided me with a lot of opportunities and I even met my husband here!”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

My Fitbit has been a huge factor in keeping me motivated! I love the UA Fitbit challenges!! I walk or jog 5 days a week and have recently joined the new YMCA downtown. My husband and I lift weights 3-4 days a week there. We try to walk or ride our bikes to the gym too! I also have a treadmill at home that I use whenever I want to watch TV.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My main goal for staying fit is my health! I always look long term and I know that if I take care of myself now it will pay off later in life.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Balancing being a full-time Ph.D. student with a lot of homework and working full time. However, I try not to let myself use that as an excuse! If you really care about being healthy and fit you will make time for it.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking is my favorite thing to do- I could walk for hours and hours. I like to walk with my husband, dogs, friends, and recently my new co-workers! I started using the Stair Mill at the YMCA and I am really enjoying that new challenge.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I wanted to start lifting weights with my husband again because we had taken a break and were making excuses. We live downtown so the new YMCA was the perfect place to join! We have been going together every week now.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Run a marathon. I have done 5ks, 10ks, and a half marathon. Running a marathon seems impossible but it would be awesome if I could get myself to do that one day!

Week of June 5th, 2017: Leif Cole, Referrals Specialist, UMC Family Medicine Northport

When Leif is not working or running,  she enjoys reading and she is also a huge animal lover!

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I run my neighborhood most mornings before work. I recently joined Fitness One to participate in their classes and to weight train. Meal prep is also an important part of my routine.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My main motivation is how it makes me feel. Physical results and mental clarity keep me moving and striving for more.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

The main barrier is time. Not having enough hours in the day to do all that I want and all that is needed.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Running is what I enjoy most.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Joining the gym!

What is one item on your bucket list?

To always strive to be a better version of myself

Week of May 29th, 2017: Peter Jensen, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies 

Peter says, “I identify as being from the midwest more than any state, I’ve lived in: Indiana (twice), Kansas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I make it a point to walk everywhere I can during the day, including grocery shopping and to and from campus. I also run and go to the gym a few times a week. I can be a bit of a “grazer” sometimes, so I try to limit the kind of food I have in the house.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I really enjoy walking and exercise because it forces me to take time off away from work and staring at a computer screen.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I used to do triathlons, but my knee started giving me problems several years ago. That, combined with how much time I spend sitting can lead a lot of unhealthy habits.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I really enjoy walking the most, but I’ve gotten back into climbing after a hiatus.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

After finishing my Ph.D. I was in the worst shape of my life. My health has improved considerably, but there’s still a long way to go.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Travel outside of North America and Europe.

Week of May 22nd, 2017:  Candace Peters, Academic Advisor, School of Accountancy

Candace has worked at UA for 9 years.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I run/walk usually at lunch during the work week and my favorite place to run is Sokol park and the Riverwalk.  I also take the stairs whenever possible.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My family.  My husband runs marathons and my teenage daughter runs cross country and plays soccer. I try to spend as much time with them as possible, so I often exercise with them even though I am usually far behind them.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Full-time job and graduate school.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I like to do any activity that my family can do together.  Exercising is a lot more fun when you are with the ones you love.  They help hold me accountable. 

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Not lately, but I hope to graduate in August and start focusing more on my physical health.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I don’t know if I have added this to my bucket list officially, but I have considered running a half marathon.  As my husband and daughter train, I would love to be able to join them on their longer runs.  Right now, 3 miles is when I call it quits, but maybe one day I can say I finished as least a half marathon.  Who know…anything is possible, right?

Week of May 8th, 2017: Scott Sharp, Coordinator – Informal Recreation, University Recreation 

Scott has worked at the University for 3 years. He enjoys scuba diving and has been on a dive with Caribbean reef sharks.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I weight train 4-6 days per week and try to do cardio 3 days per week. I don’t really care for the treadmill so I prefer to do my cardio outside. If I’m doing a distance run I like to run around campus or at river walk, they’re both pretty and offer a lot of scenery so it helps keep your mind occupied. If I’m doing sprints I’ll go to the intramural fields at the SRC. I’ve also gotten into the elliptical lately, it’s low impact so the stress is minimal on your joints. I also meal prep for the week. I try to make 8 separate meals Sunday night to have for lunch and dinner throughout the week. This saves a lot of time and money.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

The physical and mental benefits that I derive from staying active are the main motivators. I can really tell if I miss a couple days of physical activity, my energy levels are lower and I don’t sleep as well. On the opposite end, the feeling of fulfillment when you finish a workout and you’re exhausted but you feel so great for the hard work you just put in. I believe you should challenge yourself every day, not just through exercise but through your work and other interests that you have.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Not having a consistent schedule can be a pretty big barrier. I don’t work a typical 8-5 so I prepare the night before and make exercise a priority.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Weight training is definitely my favorite form of physical activity. There are so many ways that you can change your program to consistently challenge yourself that it never gets dull. A close second would be sprints and other plyometric work.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I had chronic elbow pain in my left elbow for nearly four years. Despite multiple x-rays, cortisone shots, an MRI and nerve conduction test we couldn’t figure out what the problem was. I would alternate taking a week or two off from training and try to get back into it but the pain never went away. I didn’t want to take extended time away from weight training but it was the last resort. I took four months off then began a rehab program from Drayer. I basically started all over as if I had never touched a weight, at least that’s how it felt. I’ve been weight training again consistently for nearly 8 months and I’m lifting more weight than I ever have and my elbow hardly ever hurts.

What is one item on your bucket list?

To visit Italy and Greece.

Week of May 1st, 2017: Susan Caples, Associate Director, Enterprise Operations

Susan says, “I am so blessed to have worked at UA for almost 30 years. It has been a wonderful journey filled with change and challenges! I get so much energy from our students!”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Pilates Reformer at the Rec Center is my favorite! Twice weekly, I attend a class led by Jennifer Taylor – she is so encouraging and accommodating to every skill level. It has truly helped my balance and my core strength. I also love to walk – around campus and in my neighborhood.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I turned 60 this year and I really think the best is yet to come! I love to stay busy and active and involved – I want to be able to enjoy this next phase of life!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I really don’t have any barriers other than time management!

What is your favorite physical activity?

Long walks in the fall or spring with a good friend!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for more than 25 years. I began attending meetings on campus again in January and have lost almost 20 pounds.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Seeing as much of the world as time and money allow!

Week of April 24th, 2017: Gary Taylor, Associate Professor, School of Accountancy

Gary and his wife, Jennifer

Gary says, “I practice Stoicism. Part of my Stoic practice involves a morning meditation and a bedtime reflection. In the morning I write down what I am thankful for, anticipating events that may affect me, and not getting worked up about things that don’t matter. Each evening, I reflect on the day and how well I did in practicing my Stoicism, specifically analyzing things as they truly are without adding unwarranted positive or negative perceptions to the event.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I lift, do yoga, run, and do high-intensity workouts with Andy Paxton, a trainer at the rec center. I have also done pilates reformer.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

The desire to enjoy the goodness of life for as long as I possibly can. This requires both mental and physical wellness.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

In the early 2000’s, I contracted ulcerative colitis resulting in the removal of my colon.  In 2014, I was diagnosed with PSC – a liver disease associated with ulcerative colitis. In 2016, I had hip replacement surgery.

What is your favorite physical activity?

High-intensity workout competitions I do with Andy and yoga. The yoga is as much for mental stimulation as it is physical.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Following my hip surgery, I have started running again. I have almost gotten back to the pace I was at before I needed hip surgery.

What is one item on your bucket list?

To get to a place where on a daily basis I can honestly say that (to paraphrase Epictetus) I rejoice in what I have and do not concern myself with things I do not have.

Week of April 17th, 2017: Cody Adams, Architectural Draftsmen, Building Information Services

Cody says, “I feel very blessed to be part of The University of Alabama, the last year and a half have been awesome. It’s exciting to be part of a group of driven individuals who all love what they do.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I try to hit the gym at least 4 days a week, and on the weekends were usually doing something outside, even if it’s just mowing the grass, I try to stay active.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My health. I had gotten pretty bad out of shape to the point where I was losing muscle,  and becoming overweight. I had to get back in the gym and start mixing up my cardio with my lifts, and I also started timing my workouts to ensure that I’m keeping a good pace. So far it’s working out really well, and I feel much better.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Definitely laziness, it’s hard to keep dedicated with routines especially in the hot summers, but those are the day’s you just have to put your head down and get it done.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I really enjoy lifting, it gets the adrenaline going, and really helps to clear my head.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve actually dropped my blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the past year, which has been awesome.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would really enjoy traveling out west and see the Grand Canyon, The Rockies and some parts of California.

Week of April 10th, 2017: Elsie Smith, Project Accountant Sr., Financial Affairs/BACPP

Elsie married her college sweetheart and is nearing her 30th wedding anniversary.  She has a son and daughter and her daughter and son-in-law are expecting their first child.  Elsie has worked in the accounting field for almost 30 years and she loves what she does!

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I normally workout or walk at least 5 days a week.  I get up at 4:30 each morning and either hop on the treadmill for 3 to 4 miles or workout to walk at home Youtube videos which incorporate aerobics to work the whole body.  My goal each day is to have 8,000 steps by 8:00 am because as an accountant, I am generally sedentary all day.  I try not to go to bed without hitting my daily goal of 10,000 steps.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I am going to be a first-time grandmother in about 5 months and I want to be around to see that baby grow up and be able to enjoy my time with it.  I want to be able to take the baby to the park and keep up with it and at my previous weight and activity level that would have been a problem.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Sitting at a desk all day along with a bad knee wreaks havoc on my activity level, but I just keep pushing forward.  Some days I have to push through the pain or take a day off.  If I miss one day, I just won’t give up. As soon as I feel better, I get back to the moving as much as I can.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking has to be my favorite activity because I can just put my earphones in and listen to some soothing music and shut the world out for just a little while.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Since I took control of my health, I have been able to get off blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol medications! I have lost almost 80 pounds in a little over a year and I feel great!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to go back to Jasper, GA and be able to hike up the mountain to see the waterfall that I wasn’t able to see the last time I visited there!

Week of April 3rd, 2017: Lori Greene, Instructor, Human Nutrition & Hospitality Management

Lori has worked at the University for 10 years.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I am a lover of Fitbits and have had one for almost 5 years. My busy life does not always allow me to work in structured exercise every day, but my Fitbit helps to keep me moving more than I would without it.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My family and the beautiful outdoors motivate me to get outside and be active.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time!! It is no doubt hard to make physical activity a regular part of life as a wife and mother of 3 plus a full-time job.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Swimming or other water activities such as water skiing. I also love Body Pump and Cycling classes.

What is one item on your bucket list?

One day I want to participate in a Disney Run event.

Week of March 6th, 2017: David Wilson, Director of Alumni Funds

David with his wife, Elizabeth

David has worked at the University for 26 years.  In 1982, David met his wife of 31 years at the Ferguson Center when they were both student workers.  He has two children-David II graduated from UA in 2013 with a degree from C&BA and Pete is a current freshman at UA in the College of Engineering, working on an MBA in the STEM program.

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

Since my college years at UA, I have been running almost every day of the week. I joined the UA Aquatic Center and attempt to run during lunch. If unable to run during lunch, I go after work.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I do a lot of personal thinking when alone running. Running is my quiet time during the day and I have been known to run for 1 – 2 hours before stopping. It helps me focus on issues that are on my mind. My wife tells me if I do not run, I become cranky. Also, I want to enjoy an active life during my retirement years. My wife and I plan to do a lot of travel and we need to be healthy. My wife has been exercising with me, which I really enjoy. If she can get in really good shape, I hope one day she will offer to carry the luggage on trips. This will never happen!!!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Sometimes work keeps me from being able to be physically active; however, this is usually only for a day or two.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Running is my best physical activity. Playing golf and being able to walk 9 or 18 holes is fun. I use to play a lot of tennis and basketball; however, my ankles are not aging well so I do not get to play much.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Yes, losing weight to meet my goals for the WellBama promotion. I enjoy my hamburgers, steaks and buffet lines but had to pull back for the weight in. I accomplished my goals and that night went to a buffet for dinner. Yes, it was a fantastic dinner.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to be able to coach my grandkids soccer teams.

 

Week of February 27th, 2017: Rachel Caver, Administrative Assistant, Financial Affairs

Rachel Caver and her daughter

Rachel has worked at the University for 10 years, and says, “Sometimes we take our health for granted and I refuse to ever do that again.  In the Summer of 2015, I was diagnosed with colon cancer, had surgery to remove the tumor then began chemotherapy which lasted until Feb. 2016. Now, I am proud to say I am cancer free!! Since going through that, it has really changed my way of thinking about my health and wanting to take better care of myself for me and my family.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?  Now I walk on my lunch hour from Queen City Ave to the Quad, sometimes further and workout in the evenings at my house, when it is possible at least 5 days a week. I feel healthier and stronger than I have felt in a long time.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active? I realize how important it is to stay strong physically and emotionally and exercise is what works best for me.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active? Life gets a little crazy from time to time and when that happens I just start again the next day.

What is your favorite physical activity? Strength training and walking with my friend.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately? Yes, I feel so much better and I have lost 10 lbs.!!

What is one item on your bucket list? I want to travel with my soulmate once we retire.

 

Week of February 20th, 2017: Alvin Niuh, Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition and Hospitality Management

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I get bored easily, so I do a variety of things to keep it interesting. Running is my normal “go to” activity, but I also do a weekly yoga class, and spinning class. Recently I joined the “Y” and started doing a short 45-minute High-Intensity Training class …which is kicking my rear end.  I’m usually doing something physically active 5 days a week.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Trying to turn back the aging clock…just kidding.  Staying active is an easy thing for anyone to do. No gym membership or expensive exercise equipment are needed to stay active. For me, I actually find it relaxing, and when I’m running with friends… it becomes a social event.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I love the cold weather, so in Alabama, trying to remain physically active in the hot and humid summer months is certainly an issue, and I do not like being active indoors too.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I like running because it’s something I can do anywhere, anytime, and do it alone. I have done a few Ragnar team relays and those are lots of fun too especially with a good group of friends.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Yes, my goal is to just remain healthy and avoid any injuries. I can gladly report that I’ve not had any serious injuries or health issues to-date, so being active must be working.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Depends on which category you’re talking about. In the wellness category, my goal is to attempt an Ultra event.

Week of February 13th, 2017: Gloria Ellis, Office Associate II, Logistics and Support Services

Gloria has worked at UA for 20 years and says, “I am a 68-year-old employee who is blessed that I can still work and be active.”

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week (where, how often)?

My favorite activity is walking. I have found that it relieves stress and is good for my joints and bones. I love to walk in the sunshine which is a good source of Vitamin D and the fresh air always does wonders. I also walk indoors when the weather is not good. My favorite time to walk is at work. I walk in the morning before I begin work, break times, and at lunch when I can. I use the stairs as much as possible as well. The stairs are good for the heart.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

The greatest motivation is to stay as healthy as I can. I am diabetic and try to keep my AlC in check. I also have arthritis and walking helps my stiffness.  One objective in older age is just to move…move…move. My mother always said to move while you can!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I would say a lack of discipline at times, particularly on the weekends. I try to find other ways to walk…housework and grocery store. This is not a once in a while thing…it’s needs to be on a consistent basis.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking.   I also love to dance at home with music.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have done well in maintaining my weight, increased water intake and watching the amount of food I eat.

What is one item on your bucket list?

To maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Week of February 6th, 2017: Charlotte Petonic, Assistant Director of Health Promotion & Wellness, Student Health Center & Pharmacy

Charlotte’s first 5K at Disney

I LOVE Disney! I did not understand they hype until I moved to Tampa, FL for a job and a friend took me to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival. We saw on older 90’s band play and then watched Illuminations, the fireworks display. I fell in love with Disney during the fireworks show. I purchased my first seasons pass weeks later. With my love of Disney and my goal of completing a 5K, I signed up for my first 5K at the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in February of 2015. I got to prance through Epcot dressed as Minnie Mouse for my first 5K ever! It was beyond magical!

What do you do to keep active and be healthy throughout the week?

I work out at Orange Theory Fitness (OTF), three times per week. I love to walk my dog around campus, and competing in Work Week Hustle Challenges with my friends and coworkers on the FitBit app.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

If we are being honest sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to exercise, but nothing makes me feel more confident and proud of myself than crushing a really hard workout at OTF or crushing my step goal for the day.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

TIME! Sometimes it feels like there will never be enough hours in the day to get everything done.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Walking around campus with my dog. The campus is just beautiful and everyone is so friendly when you have a dog.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Currently, I am working on completing one 5K a month for the entire year. So far I have completed my first one this past weekend, 1 down and 11 to go! Right now I am more of a power walker with brief spurts of jogging and I hope to be able to jog the entire time on my last one. I am also recruiting buddies who would like to participate in 5K’s with me. No matter your fitness level we could always high-five at the starting line and cheer each other across the finish line. If you want to join email me at crpetonic@ua.edu.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to see all 50 states by the time I turn 50.

Week of January 30th, 2017: Ann Tinsley, Administrative Assistant, Capstone College of Nursing

Ann walking her Irish Doodle

Ann has worked at UA for 5 years and also works with her sister at Capstone College of Nursing (CCN).  Neither of them is a nurse but their other sister and Ann’s middle son are both graduates of CCN.  Ann can’t stand hospitals or the sight blood, but she feels fortunate to be able to assist with the education of such a noble profession.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I walk 3 mornings a week with a friend and my dog.  We have a route that is about 2.5 miles.  The other two days of the week, I swim laps for 45 minutes with my sister/co-worker at the Recreation Center before work.  A couple of mornings a week, I try and add a weight/muscle toning workout using a 30-minute beach body video.  My sister and I are also participating in Weight Watchers @ Work. 

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

As I age, my body has aches and pains that I did not experience when I was younger.  Staying active keeps those aches and pains to a minimum.  In other words, the more I move the better I feel.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Occasionally my knees and hips get aggravated but I just scale back or change what I’m doing.  But the swimming seems to not aggravate my joints as much.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Swimming is my preference at the moment, but I do love a walk in the sunshine.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Weight Watchers @ Work and exercising has helped me lose 15 pounds since September.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Running a 5K was a bucket list item of mine but that was accomplished back in 2014 at WellBAMA’s Crimson Couch to 5K.  Thank you WellBAMA!

Week of January 23rd, 2017: Bobbie Ables, Accounting Assistant, UA Printing Services

Bobbie Today!

Bobbie has been working at the University for 9 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I have an elliptical machine at home that I work out on a few times per week.  I also have a treadmill that I use, but the elliptical is better on my knees.  I started taking ballroom dance lessons 3-4 times per week.  The lessons are through Crimson Tide Ballroom Dancing on Sunday afternoons at no charge and Tuscaloosa Ballroom Dancing on Tuesday nights for a fee.  The Northport Community Center also has dancing and a live band on Thursday and Friday nights for a small fee of $5 per person and usually has food and drinks.  I recently renewed by UA Recreation Center membership.  I wanted to add more variety to my workout routine and work on different areas of my body instead of doing the same thing at home.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Exercise is a stress reliever for me and makes me feel better.  I also need to keep up with my 6-year-old grandson and 3-year-old granddaughter.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Finding time to exercise can be hard.  Also, a few injuries have hindered me but, I am getting back on track.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy playing softball and working out.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Bobbi Before!
Bobbie Before!

Being more active and involved in a variety of activities has lead to healthy weight loss.  I have also been able to stop taking some of my medications. I experienced weight loss in an unhealthy way dealing with the loss of my husband of 27 years to cancer.  It was very stressful and I was not eating properly or exercising.  

What is one item on your bucket list?

One of the things that I would like to do is visit Niagara Falls.

Week of January 16th, 2017: Rhonda Hester, Office Associate II, College of Continuing Studies/Safe State

Rhonda was one of the top 5 steppers in the 12 Days of Wellness Fitbit step challenge with 249,474 steps.  She has worked at the University for 17 years.  She is married with two children and became a grandmother while completing her degree from UA.  She graduated from UA in December of 2014.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I set my fit bit alarm to go off so I will not sit at my desk for a long period of time. I walk six flights of stairs in Martha Parham three to four times a week; walk to the water fountain on the other side of our building daily; I walk to lunch three to four days a week; My daughter and grand-daughter live across the street from our home so I make several trips back and forth every afternoon where there is a hill between us and I walk in place while watching TV. I drink more water and have cut down on the sodas.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Health issues and the lack of funds to continue buying clothes due to weight gain were my main motivations. Trying to keep up with my grand-daughter helps me stay active. Being a part of WellBAMA reminds me I need to exercise, stay active, and keep moving.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time is my own barrier to keeping physically active. I have a desk job and when I get home my second job comes in to play: cooking, cleaning, and then off to bed. I have to set alarms to remind me to get up and move during the day!

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is walking.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

The health related goals that I have achieved lately has been drinking more water and walking every day.   I have not lost many pounds but I have lost inches!

What is one item on your bucket list?

One item on my bucket list is to not be overweight any longer.

Week of January 9th, 2017: Vicki Evangelou, Office Associate, College of Education

Vicki was born and raised in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents.  She can read, write, and speak Greek.  At the age of 19 she moved to Tuscaloosa to attend UA.  Living on her own as a student, she began to gain weight from eating a lot of fast food.  She wan’t active a began to pick up bad habits like smoking.  

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

At 20, I weighed the most I have ever weighed, 220 lbs.  When I was 21, I quickly realized I needed to change.  I stopped drinking, smoking and started incorporating more activities to my daily routine.  I walked more, bought a bike, cut out fast food and soon I noticed a change.  I also started to take group exercise classes at the Student Recreation Center.  I became hooked.  I also started doing fitness programs like Turbo Kick and Insanity.

From the  combination of group classes, fitness DVD’s, healthy eating habits and support from friends and family, I have lost 80 lbs over 5 years.  I a ma AFAA certified in group exercise and personal training.  Recently, I became a Beachbody Coach.  My goal  as a coach is to form a relationship with my clients outside of the gym.  Let them know my story and hopefully I can change one person’s life for the better

Some mornings, I go to the gym and take a 6 am group exercise class.  At lunch you will most likely find me walking around the Quad.  I try to get a minimum of 10,000 steps daily.  I pack my food for the workday.  This really helps me stay on track with eating right. On the weekends, I love to take long walks or take my bike to Sokol Park and ride the trails.  

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I have many things that motivate me:

  1. My old self – I never want to be unhealthy like that again.  It has been a long and hard journey to get this far and I don’t give myself the option of failing and going back to old habits.
  2. My friends, family and clients – I am lucky to be surrounded by a great network of support.  We all want each other to succeed so we encourage and motivate each other to be active.  We text each other when it’s time to move around the office and we talk about some issues we face.  It is so important to have a support system when you are trying to get back into shape.
  3. Wellness – My family has a history of strokes, cancer, diabetes, etc.  Studies have shown the best thing that you can do for yourself to have a long life is to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Injuries.  I have had torn tendons and sprained ankles.  Also the cold weather just makes me want to stay  under the covers forever.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Hiking! I love being surrounded by nature.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

In July, I ran the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon for my birthday.  I did it under 2 hours and did it without stopping.  I never thought I would ever run a half marathon in my life, but I did it!

What is one item on your bucket list?

See the Northern Lights

Week of December 19th, 2016: Tracy Barton, Marketing Associate, College of Continuing Studies

Tracy was the top stepper with 397,024 total steps in our first Fitbit 12 Days of Wellness step challenge.  She has 4 children, a grandchild and has been working at UA for the past 6 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week? 

Once my feet hit the floor in the morning, I don’t stop moving.  While doing housework, I am running or walking in place. If I am having a conversation with a co-worker at work or waiting at the copy machine, I walk in place to get more steps.  I walk before work, try to walk during lunch and in the evening. 

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I can feel and see the difference when I exercise and make good healthy eating decisions.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

It’s all mental.  You need to make the decision to just do it, stay consistent and make no excuses!

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love walking

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I made Crimson level in the WellBAMA program for the first time and I have lost 70 pounds in 6 1/2 months. 

What is one item on your bucket list?

To visit Italy!

Week of December 12th, 2016: Mike Brass, Manager, Recreation Fields and Grounds, University Recreation

Mike was born and raised in England and has worked at the University for 24 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week? I run 6 days a week, usually in the early morning.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active? I think it’s just something that I grew up with, sports were mandatory at school, and now I think it’s more of a habit.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active? Injuries will catch up with you, especially after years and years of repetitive use.

What is your favorite physical activity? It used to be soccer , now it’s running.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately? I’ve enjoyed the WellBAMA program because it forces me to pay more attention to diet and keeping the health numbers where they need to be. 

What is one item on your bucket list? Back in 1997 I started to attempt to finish a marathon in every state. I still need about 15 more, but it’s not as much fun when your times start to get slower. 

Week of December 5th, 2016: Leah McCool, Administrative Specialist, College of Education Dean’s Office

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?Almost every day at lunch I walk with a coworker for 30-45 minutes.  Also, twice a day we set aside time to do 1 1/2 minute planks.  We will add an additional challenge to do with the plank like a 30 day squat challenge.  We are currently adding a wall sit challenge.   

What motivates you to exercise and stay active? Having friends to exercise with and nag me if I skip a day.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active? Having younger children, I am not able to exercise anytime that I want and all of my free time away from work is focused around them. Also, I am lazy!

What is your favorite physical activity? Running (even though I am not good at it)

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?  Last year, I lost 30 pounds within a couple of months and have managed to keep it off for over a year.

What is one item on your bucket list? To run a half marathon

Week of November 28th, 2016: Jared Taylor, Conference Manager, Bryant Conference Center
jared-taylor

Jared is a 2011 graduate of UA and former UA Cheerleader. He will graduate again from UA in August 2017 with his Masters degree in Human Environmental Sciences.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

Every day after work, I drive over to the Rec Center and spend anywhere from 1-2 hours working out. I follow a pretty set routine that combines weight lifting and circuit training.  I also love early morning runs through my neighborhood with my dogs.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I often think about the oder version of myself and how that person looks and feels. I try to base my choices off of wondering if the older me would respond by saying, “thank you.”  Also, we have the same hours in a day as Beyonce, so anything is possible.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Finding time and motivation is always a challenge.  I contemplate just going home right after work every day, but I always remember how great I will feel after working out.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love to run….Especially around campus on a game day morning.  I love feeling the energy in the air and watching the sunrise over the quad.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Recently, I have been much more conscious of the food that I eat.  I have always been physically active but changing my way of eating has done more for my health and physicality than any workout.

What is one item on your bucket list?

One day, I would like to hike the Appalachian Trail…or at least part of it.

Week of November 14, 2016: Margaret Stran, Associate Director, Adapted Athletics

Margaret has worked at UA for 13 years. She was one of the co-founders of the UA Adapted Athletic Program in 2003.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I regularly swim laps about 2 times a week, lift weights 1-2 times a week, rows on the rowing machine 1-2 times a week.  I also like to play tennis and kayak when the weather is nice.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Exercising just makes me feel better and it helps me maintain my weight.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Finding time to exercise.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I really like swimming and being in the water. My body feels good and my body doesn’t hurt when I’m finished swimming.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am very intrinsically motivated and have always worked out. I love playing sports.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to finish visiting all 50 states. I only have four states left. I would also like to tour France.

Week of November 7th, 2016: Lorne Kuffel, Executive Director, Institutional Research and Assessment

Lorne has been with the University for 9 years.  He is pictured here with his wife, Mani.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I exercise most days. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I work out with weights at the Student Recreation Center. On Tuesday and Thursday I’m in a noontime Pilates Reformer group. Then on the weekends, my wife and I walk with our dogs.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I just feel better when I exercise. It helps my body feel healthy and my attitude is much better. I’m a nicer person to be around when I’m exercising regularly.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Making the time to exercise can be challenging. Work and other obligations can easily get in the way of working out. Sometimes you just need to force yourself to get away and go do it.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Definitely walking with my dogs. I used to love running, but after back surgery and a knee replacement I’m happy walking now.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Yes, I’ve stuck with Pilates and it has greatly improved my core strength. I know I look a little silly doing it, but it has really been beneficial.

What is one item on your bucket list?

To just keep moving and laughing.

Week of October 31st, 2016: Mary Kelley, Assistant Professor, Capstone College of Nursing

Mary has worked at UA for over 13 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I usually exercise in the morning at a local park. I get up early and walk and jog for 30 minutes five times a week.  If I have an early day at work I exercise in evening at a local gym.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I want to lose weight and stay healthy.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My busy schedule working long hours sometimes prevents me from exercising.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love kickboxing because I can get my heart rate up fast and I  can see results in toning. I  have taken kickboxing  classes in the past, but lately I do aTae Boa video.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am trying to eat 5 fruits and vegetables every day.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I have always wanted to see Hawaii.  I will walk the beach, visit  the volcano, and eat delicious food. 

Week of October 24th, 2016: Katherine Nichols, Instructor, Mathematics Department

Katherine has worked at UA for over 10 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I started road biking about 3 years ago due to knee issues that prevent me from running.
I now bike about 3-4 times a week and work with a personal trainer at UREC 2 times a week.  I work out with a personal trainer 2 times a week at the UREC for strength and cardio training.
I will have to say that I have not had 2 workouts the same.  It always fresh, changing and never boring.
I have been working out with a PT for the past year and the strength training has improved my biking.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I really enjoy food and like to eat.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time is the biggest barrier.  Sometimes you have to choose between activities and some cut into physical activities.  As the days get shorter and daylight savings takes place, it will be hard to ride during the week.
Winter  and weather will the challenge to keep active these next few months till it warms up for Spring.
I guess I will be spending more time in the UREC.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Biking. I have been biking with the Tuscaloosa Cycle Club (on Facebook).  It is a great support system and no rider is left behind.  The bike club members have been supportive and has helped me improve on my biking.  I road 11 of the 13 centuries of the Alabama Backroad Century Series this year. (ABCS have several shorter options too.)  It is an improvement from last year which I completed only 2 centuries.  Biking has been a great way meeting new people and seeing parts of Alabama that I would never see driving.  There are several local routes that I ride during the week: Capital Park to Sander’s Ferry to Hwy 11 and back.  Also, Capital Park to County High School and back.  On weekends we have longer routes, I have ridden to Gordon and back,  or from Moundville to Greensboro to the Pie Lab and back.  There are many local routes that great to ride. t is hard to pick my favorite ride but riding the Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet from Anniston to Atlanta (100 miles) on a bike and returning the next day was fun.  The Chief Ladiga/Silver Comet is a rails to trails route that is bike friendly.  And it is fun to say that you road a bike to Atlanta. 

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am trying to lose some weight after having two surgeries.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to bike through foreign countries.

Week of October 10th, 2016: Rachel Thompson, Director, Emerging Technology and Accessibility

Rachel is a WellBAMA Ambassador and serves as a yoga liaison for the Campus Yoga program helping set up the room for each class. She has been at UA as a staff member for 12 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I run on the elliptical and treadmill at the Aquatic Center during lunch each day.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

It makes me feel good. I have noticed I am less stressed and have more energy and fewer aches and pains.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time. I know I am not going to exercise after work, so I use my lunch break to exercise instead.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Dancing and swimming

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I try to spend a few minutes each morning doing yoga to start my day.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to take a train trip across Canada and open a Bed & Breakfast.

Week of October 3rd, 2016: Chris Lee, Academic Advisor, College of Education

Before

Chris has been at the University of Alabama for 6 years.  Before making strides to improve his health, Chris weighted close to 300 pounds.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I wear a Fitbit device which really helps me get at least 10,000 steps in each day. I try to do better than that and earn achievement badges through Fitbit. My highest badge was 30,000 steps in one day.

After

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My overall happiness. It’s easier to buy clothes too. I notice little things like I have more energy throughout the day and I’m not as tired at the end of the day. I can go to the football games and not feel worn out at the end.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My busy schedule. If I am not close to getting 10,000 at the end of the day, I will try to park further away from the store or take an extra lap around the grocery store before I check out. I always take the stairs. I can’t remember the last time I took the elevator.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I walk everywhere and I like to go the Aquatic Center and run on the treadmill.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I ran a 5K in 45 minutes!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to run a 5k in 30 minutes

Week of September 26th, 2016: Paul Justin Brown, Systems Analyst, Financial Affairs Information Technology

Justin graduated from the MIS program here at The University of Alabama in May. Shortly after in June, he joined our Financial Affairs Information Technology team.  Justin feels very privileged and excited that I am able to continue being a part of The University of Alabama.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

To stay active during the week I try to do something outside daily after work hours. Whether it is walking/running in the evenings, playing some pickup games with friends, or even mowing the yard.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My family and simply the quality of life.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I had back surgery in high school so I have to be careful on what exactly I do physically.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Sports are my favorite physical activity. I love running up and down the court/field playing basketball, soccer, or any other sport.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I am a new staff member here at UA (going on 4 months now) so I just now have had the time/opportunity to join the wellness program and get involved. I have completed my class session, health screening, and I am currently participating in the Strive 4 Five program.

Goal wise, I have been watching my calories eating better lately and drinking LOTS of water.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to visit many countries throughout Europe.

Week of September 19th, 2016: Robin Boylorn, Associate Professor, Communication Studies

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

During the week I strive to reach 10,000 steps a day, at least two times per week, through walking and jogging.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

It is very important for my overall wellness, especially since I have hereditary hypertension. Through physical activity, I can lower my blood pressure, which is very encouraging. I also believe that exercising is a stress reliever.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Interruptions! When I go on a trip or vacation it is difficult to find the motivation when I get back home. Other obligations also keep me busy, and I keep an unconventional schedule, so finding time to exercise can be tough.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy long outdoor walks, and when I can, I like to go hiking in the mountains. It’s beautiful. I also like to bike, although I haven’t done it in a while.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I lost 5 pounds recently so that was an exciting goal to achieve. I try to drink more water, be intentional about getting rest, and I especially try hard to keep my blood pressure under control.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to go to Paris someday!

Week of September 12th, 2016: Melissa Cox, Outreach Programs Coordinator for the College of Community Health Science’s Rural Health Leaders Pipeline

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I love staying healthy through many different types of exercise! I run, walk, bike, use the elliptical and do yoga. Overall through these exercises, I strive to do about 45 minutes to an hour, 6 days a week.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I am motivated by the fact that we cannot take our health for granted! Also, I thoroughly enjoy staying active and exercising.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I love to run!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

While I have done a half-marathon and two triathlons, there are no races I am currently training for. I would love to start training for a triathlon with my husband soon!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I am ready to finish my PhD at the end of this semester!

Week of September 5th, 2016: Megan Welborn, Program Manager, Academic Outreach Program Development & Marketing

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I try to exercise at least four-five days a week.  I like to take long walks around my neighborhood, and my husband and I also jog together.  We are both really competitive and enjoy playing golf and tennis together, too. 

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

 After exercise, I love the way I feel.  What I enjoy most about staying active is the extra energy I have.

 What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy playing golf and tennis with my husband.  I enjoy the competitive nature of both sports, but I also love that we can spend time together.  It’s great to participate in physical activities that we both enjoy while maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

 Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

 I set a goal to lose 10 pounds.  Thanks to exercise and a strict change in my diet, I have now lost 15 pounds.  My clothes fit better, and I am much more confident in my appearance!  And most importantly, I have so much more energy! 

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to go to Australia!

Week of August 29th, 2016: Susan Noble, Administrative Secretary, Engineering Student Services & FEP

Since starting at UA 11 years ago, Susan has earned her undergraduate degree along side both of her children. She also earned her master’s degree, and gained knowledge to take ownership of her own health goals and outcomes. UA has beena great fit for her.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I do elliptical at GFG and try to do it 5 nights a week. I probably really only average 4.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Hereditary high cholesterol and the desire to be able to stay active and healthy as I get older. I realize I can’t wake up in retirement and hope I’m healthy enough to enjoy it – I have to prepare now for the future.

I also listen to Audible when I exercise which is motivating because I love to read and I can “read” and exercise at the same time. I only “let myself” listen to my stories when I exercise – it’s like a reward to myself for exercising.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

I worry that I short-change my family because my exercise does cut into my time I would be at home. My husband has no problem with it and encourages me, but I still feel guilty about it.  Also, just pure laziness and lack of motivation some days. My couch calls to me with a siren’s song all day long!

What is your favorite physical activity?

Does reading count? Flipping pages can be hard work!! I currently like the elliptical simply because I know it’s effective, I see the results, I can get in there, get it done and go home. Plus, since I fractured my knee cap it’s an activity that doesn’t put too much strain on my knee. I also like hula hoop and am semi-awful at it but it makes my husband laugh.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I got my BMI down from 26.22 in April to 24.59 (Crimson!!) in May. That was my strongest goal. I’ve lost 17 pounds, but more self-satisfying is the fact my clothes fit so much better and I feel better.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I’d love to spend a month in Ireland or Scotland visiting castles and studying history.

Week of August 22nd, 2016: Marcia Hay-McCutcheon, Associate Professor, Department of Communicative Disorders

Marcia has worked at The University of Alabama for 8 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I like to go to the University Recreation Center early in the morning. I’m usually there by 5:50 am each weekday and I use the machines upstairs, go to boot camp or do sessions with a personal trainer. If I can’t get to the gym each morning and if the weather is good I’ll speed walk on the river on Saturday or Sunday.

 

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Keeping healthy and fit are two big motivators. I find that when I don’t work out I am dragging by the end of the day. Also, I get better reports at my annual physical exams when I work out and eat healthy. My doctor is a lot happier with me!

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

It usually revolves around how stressed I am. When I’m more stressed I usually don’t sleep as well as I normally do and as a result it’s harder to drag myself out of bed in the morning. So, I need to remind myself to chill out!

 

What is your favorite physical activity?

Growing up in the sixties the kids in my neighborhood and at school loved to skip and we would play Double Dutch whenever we could. So, today I really enjoy skipping in boot camp class. It’s something that I can do fairly well and it makes me smile when people decades younger than I am struggle with the jump rope!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

A couple of years ago I lost 25 pounds and have been able to successfully keep off the weight. I’ve kept the weight off by weighing myself regularly, by staying active, and by trying to avoid too many sweets. I love sweets but they don’t help me in the long run!

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to zip line in Costa Rica one day! That would be an adventure!

Week of August 15th, 2016: Camisha Adams, Information Technical Specialist IV, Financial Affairs Information Technology

Camisha has worked at the University of Alabama for nearly 9 years.  She has a standing desk in her office that helps her stay active throughout the day.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I often attend classes at the Aquatic Center during my lunch hour. On the weekends I like to walk/run on the Shades Cahaba Trail in Homewood.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I love to keep active. Interacting with friends and family is very important to me.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time is always an issue. I commute 100 miles roundtrip to work each day. I have made this commute since 2007. I have a home gym with a stationary bike, weight bench with fly and leg extensions that I use when I do not workout at the Aquatic Center.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Running/Power walking. I have completed 8 half-marathons and numerous 5k and 10k events.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have maintained a 10 lb weight loss for the last 57 days.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would love to visit New Zealand. I have a trip planned to visit Australia later this year. I hope to spend a few days in New Zealand during this trip.

Week of August 8th, 2016: Kevin Richards, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I aim to exercise three times per week at the gym in my apartment complex. I typically exercise in the evenings after work.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My motivation to stay active and exercise is to upkeep my health and my physical appearance.

What is your favorite physical activity?

My favorite physical activity is softball, baseball, etc., really anything which involves a ball. If it involves a ball I am better at it!

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Getting back to exercising on a regular basis.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to visit Italy.

Week of August 1st, 2016: Katy Galloway, Director, Office of the Vice President for Financial Affairs 

Katy has worked at the University of Alabama for over 11 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I exercise in the mornings before work either on the treadmill or exercise DVD.  If possible, I also like to walk on my lunch hour.  I always take the stairs and find reasons to get up from my desk even if it is only for a few steps–any movement is better than none at all.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Exercise is a stress reliever for me and I think it is a good way to start the day (if it gets done before work).  The biggest motivation is when I can see the difference it makes –when my clothes are a bit loose or as my endurance improves.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Life gets in the way sometimes.  We have children and we both work outside of the home and so it is difficult to make time for exercise.  More recently I have experienced small injuries that have interrupted my routine, which is very discouraging.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I have a love/hate relationship with Jillian Michaels’ Bodyshred workout.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I would like to maintain my exercise routine and eat a  “cleaner” diet.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to visit the Maldives one day.

Week of July 25th, 2016: Danny Miller, IT Tech Spec III, System Administrator

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I swim at the Aquatic center three times a week for 30 to 35 minutes. I also ride my bike twice a week about 8 miles in Fayette, AL on some back roads. Sometimes on Sunday, my son and I go on a hike for about 3.3 miles. The trail has some incredible inclines and declines.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

I exercise and stay active so that I may meet my weight loss goals each week. It also makes me feel good and less guilty when I eat something that is not on my diet.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I would say that riding the bike is my most favorite. I feel like it does me the best cardio wise. I also like to hike with a pack.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Yes. Since I started losing weight, my cholesterol has gone down into the normal ranges, my A1C is down to 5.0. My BMI is coming down slowly.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I have never really had a bucket list. I guess if I had one, one thing might be attending Philmont Scout Ranch with my two sons on an 80 mile hike in twelve days.

Week of July 18th, 2016: Lisa Pritchett, Planned Giving Specialist, The Office of Planned Giving 

Lisa has worked for the University for 8 1/2 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I park in the campus drive deck and walk .5 miles to my office building. I do this about 4 times a week. I end up walking 2 miles each day and enjoy walking through campus. I also walk my dog around the neighborhood, weather permitting, every evening. I’m also trying to add strength training/weights to my weekly routine.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Several of us in Advancement have become “Friends” using the Fit Bit app and challenge each other to reach higher goals; it’s become a fun group to be a part of and you can hear us ribbing each other in the hallways. I feel better when I’m active. With a desk job it’s easy to sit all day, so I have to make myself get up and take walking breaks around the building.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Time- always juggling; desk job-sitting inside all day; and age- more creaks and sore muscles and joints these days.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Playing tennis is what I would really like to do. I only get to play on vacation or when my son wants to play with me.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I’ve have gotten 11,000 steps a day for 7 consecutive days; 10+ staircases each day for 5-7 consecutive days and over 20,000 steps two days in a row.

What is one item on your bucket list?

To reach 30,000 steps in one day.

Week of July 11th, 2016: DeAndre Spencer, Mental Health Professional, Brewer Porch Children’s Center

DeAndre is a WellBAMA Ambassador since 2013 and has worked at Brewer Porch Children’s Center for 11 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

“I workout at Northridge Fitness. I engage in resistance and cardiovascular training 6 days a week. I like to stick to functional exercises to maintain overall health.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

“Noticing a difference in the way I feel both physically and mentally motivates me to stay active.”

What is your favorite physical activity?

“My favorite physical activity is strength training which my favorite being leg day in the gym.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

“I managed to lower my blood pressure through diet and exercise which allowed me to decrease my blood pressure medication” 

What is one item on your bucket list?

“I recently became a certified personal trainer and a weight loss specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).”

Week of July 4th, 2016: Mike and Andrea Pope

Mike and Andrea have been at The University of Alabama for two years. Mike is a clinical instructor for the STEM path the MBA program. Andrea is an Office Associate II for the Career Center.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

Mike: I run 3 miles in the morning 5 days a week.

Andrea: I walk 30-45 minutes in the evenings after work. Together we walk the loop around the Quad at lunch 4-5 days a week.

Both: We typically walk for an hour around campus on Saturday or Sunday.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Mike: I used to work in industry so I exercised as a means of stress relief. Now it has become habit. It is also nice seeing different aspects of campus while on our walks that we would otherwise not see.

Andrea: Weight Watchers at Work has helped motivate me, you can’t lose the weight without staying active. I recently received a recognition certificate at an American Heart Associate 5K for my progress. A simply recognition that you doing a good job is motivating to keep going.

Both: We both help keep each other motivated; we have even walked the Quad with umbrellas. We also like to see improvement in our WellBAMA numbers.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

Andrea: I have had two ankle surgeries, which still cause some pain, but we have learned to make physical activity part of our routine.

What is your favorite physical activity?

Mike: I enjoy backpacking.

Andrea: I enjoy walking and gardening.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

Mike: Seeing an improvement in my WellBAMA numbers.

Andrea: I have lost 36.8 lbs from August to April.

What is one item on your bucket list?

Mike: I would like to complete the Appalachian Trail in sections (Georgia is complete)!

Andrea: I would like to collect a jar of sea glass from a tropical beach.

You may contact Andrea at extension 5848 or acpope1@sa.ua.edu and Mike at mapope1@bama.ua.edu if you would like to join him to stay active.

Week of June 27th, 2016: Mark Shepherd, Senior Facility Analyst, Financial Affairs

Mark is on his 21st year at the University of Alabama and is a Senior Facility Analyst for Financial Affairs.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I walk my dogs .67 miles every morning and I go to the Aquatic Center weight room Monday – Friday at lunch.

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Quality of life.

What is your favorite physical activity?

I enjoy working in the yard. 

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have recently lost 30 pounds.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I would like to go surfing in Hawaii.

Week of June 20th, 2016: Brian Smith, Computer Support Specialist, EM Testing and Technology

Brian has worked at The University of Alabama for 7 years.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I ride my bike to and from work every day. I also ride distances at least 4 times a week sometimes riding distances every day of the week. I also do a lot of 100-mile bike rides. Most of them are done in Alabama. I have done one in Texas and one in Arizona

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

In 1995 I was in a car accident resulting in a traumatic brain injury. That left me with a lot of balance issues. I have to use a wheelchair to get around. I can walk on a walker but that is very slow. What motivates me to stay active and exercise is that I don’t get the benefit of walking to keep my weight down and ward off diseases.

What are your barriers to keeping physically active?

My situation with the traumatic brain injury and being in a wheelchair. Also, not having a license or a vehicle to go too far off places.

What is your favorite physical activity?

It has to be cycling. When I am riding by myself, it gives me time with my thoughts. When I am riding with a group, it is a great social outlet.

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

I have lost a bunch of weight. I have improved my cardiovascular system and made my heart stronger.

What is one item on your bucket list?

I want to cycle from California to Florida one day.

Week of June 13th, 2016: Yvonne Seagrest, Billing Coordinator, Brewer Porch Children’s Center

Yvonne Segrest has worked at UA and Brewer Porch Children’s Center for over 17 years. She serves as Billing Coordinator at Brewer Porch Children’s Center.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

“We have a small group here at BPCC that exercises in the afternoon 5 days a week. We do cardio and weights using a variety of exercise videos.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

“My age and exercise makes me feel better.”

What is your favorite physical activity?

“I enjoy cardio” 

What is one item on your bucket list?

“To retire and travel more.”

Week of May 2nd, 2016: Millie Jackson, Associate Dean for Research & Instruction, University Libraries

Photo by Sara Sanger

Millie has been with the University of Alabama for 8 1/2 years.  Among her may talents, she teaches yoga.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week ?“I do several activities, some depending on the time of year. I practice yoga daily and teach yoga when I have the opportunity. I also workout at IronTribe in the mornings 3-4 times a week and cycle or swim the other days. Now that the weather is nice again I am trying to ride at least twice a week.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active? “Improving my health is the biggest motivator.   I have watched my sisters and other family members struggle with diseases that preventable with diet and exercise.   I began concentrating more on my health in 2009 when I began working out regularly at the UA Rec Center and started to change my diet.” “I have written about my personal journey at milliejackson.wordpress.com.”

What are your barriers to keeping physically active? “I have arthritis in my knees which prevents me from running like I did at one point but there are plenty of other things to do.”

What is your favorite physical activity? “I can only have one? I really love to swim, which is hilarious if you know me. I was terrified of the water until six years ago when my trainer, Sam Morgan, taught me to swim. Now I love swimming in the pool and in open water.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately? “I have gone back to a whole food plant based diet and I am cooking more at home. I love the access we have in Tuscaloosa to fresh vegetables so I experiment with recipes a lot.”

What is one item on your bucket list? “I really hope to live on the West Coast in the future.   I have family and friends there and it would be nice to be closer to them.”

Week of April 25th, 2016: Pamela Pruitt, Education Director, Brewer Porch Children’s Center

Pamela is the Education Director at Brewer Porch Children’s Center with over 30 years of experience in the field of education.

 

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

“I enjoy walking and I also work out with my daughter as much as possible. We take a Zumba class together through PARA.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

Staying active makes me feel healthier.” “ My daughter motivates me with friendly weekly reminders.” “My husband and son also support my exercise plan by encouraging me to stay on track.”

What is your favorite physical activity?  I enjoy Zumba. I like the music, movement and the fellowship.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?  “I have been moving more and I feel better.” 

What is one item on your bucket list?  “To visit every state in the United States.” “I would like to travel out west more.”

Week of April 18th, 2016: Jaime Garza, Substance Abuse Counselor, Student Health Services

Jaime is in his 4th year at the University of Alabama as a Mental Health Professional II. He is one of the founding members of the Maximizing Potential through Academics, Community, and Treatment (MPACT) program at UA. UA is currently the only University in the country that provides such a program.

 

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

I do Crossfit workouts every morning (Monday – Friday) at a friends house. I also strive to walk throughout the day and use movement as a coping mechanism for stress during the workday.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

“I stay active and exercise to achieve personal health goals and ensure I can be around for my kids.”

What is your favorite physical activity?  “I enjoy lifting weights and jumping rope.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?  “I lost sixty pounds over the past six months.”

What are a few items on your bucket list?

“I would like to see the Northern Lights.  I would also like to hike the Appalachian Trial in segments from the bottom to the top.”

You may contact Jaime at extension 5696 or jgarza@cchs.ua.edu if you would like to join him to stay active.

 

Week of April 11th, 2016: Mike Esco, Exercise Science, Department of Kinesiology

Mike is a second year Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

“For exercise I attempt to do as much work as possible in ten minutes. I accomplish through a combination of resistance, and body weight movements. I also strive to take 10,000 steps every day.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

My family, and my job. I feel that I should live the life I preach.”

What is your favorite physical activity?  lifting weights.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

“Getting back to a consistent and manageable exercise routine after taking this new job.”

What is one item on your bucket list?

“I want to live to 120!”

Week of April 4th, 2016: Julia Lewis, Custodial Services, College of Education

Julia Lewis has worked at The University of Alabama for over 11 years. She works as a custodian in the College of Education. Wearing her pedometer everyday, she gets close to 10,000 steps a day during her work hours.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week?

“I walk 30 minutes for my lunch break and then at least another 30-90 minutes on my treadmill when I get home. Sometimes I keep walking on my treadmill until it cuts off. I also do my kettle ball exercise video two times a week for strength training. I love to get up and walk early on Saturday mornings.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

“I exercise to keep my diabetes under control.”

What is your favorite physical activity?

“I love taking long leisurely walks.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

“My goal is to get 20,000 steps each day. I try to get 10,000 steps when I’m working and then at least another 10,000 steps when I am off work.” “I usually go home and walk on my treadmill.”

What is one item on your bucket list?

“I have always said when I retire; I am going to travel the world. I would like to visit each state in the U.S.”

Week of March 28th, 2016: Anna Velleggia, Career Center, Culverhouse College of Commerce

We were pleasantly surprise to learn at our recent WellBAMA screenings that the staff members at the Career Center, Culverhouse College of Commerce, were participating in their own Strive For Five competition during the month of February. On the last day of the competition, the group celebrated with an office breakfast and two small monetary rewards were given for the weight lose and activity.  We wanted to find out from Anna Velleggia how she stays active and how exercise plays a role in her everyday life.

What do you do to keep active throughout the week

I do the elliptical machine at home, attended group exercise classes at the Recreation Center 3-4 times per week, and I walk outside 3-4 times per week.”

What motivates you to exercise and stay active?

“I’m lucky because I actually like working out and it’s a great way for me to de-stress and stay in shape.”

What is your favorite physical activity?

“I love my step class and body attack class and walking outside with my husband and puppy when the weather is nice.”

Are there any health related goals you have achieved lately?

“I’ve been eating more fruits and exercising 6-7 time per week.”

What is one item on your bucket list?

“Go to Italy.”