Walking clubs become daily routine for staff

photo+by+Caylea+Erickson

photo by Caylea Erickson

Emily Unterschutz

With spare time on her hands, Performing Arts secretary Jan Fowler walks a few laps outside Fri., Sept. 19. Storing a pair of tennis shoes in her desk drawer, Fowler walks whenever she can. Photo by Caylea Erickson
With spare time on her hands, Performing Arts secretary Jan Fowler walks a few laps outside Fri., Sept. 19. Storing a pair of tennis shoes in her desk drawer, Fowler walks whenever she can. Photo by Caylea Erickson

America is almost in the lead with the second highest population of people who are obese. More than one-third of the population is obese, more prone to heart attacks and at risk for diseases such as diabetes.

The staff at RBHS, however, is tackling the problem head-on.

“About three and a half years ago I weighed 65 pounds more than I do right now,” Performing Arts secretary Jan Fowler said.  “I was at serious risk for diabetes, so I decided to start walking when I had a chance.”

According to betterhealth, half an hour of walking can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cut body fat.

“I didn’t realize it would have this much of an impact on me,” O’Gorman said. “I feel more comfortable going up the stairs.””

Fowler said she watched a video that explained how walking quickly for 30 minutes could add up to as much exercise as walking two miles.  The healthier she became, the easier and faster walking became for her.  She has become so used to walking, she stores tennis shoes in her desk drawer to prepare her for the opportunity.

“People come and say to me, ‘Oh, I should be doing that.’ I think it really does encourage other people to move,” Fowler said. “It’s a nice mental break from work.”

Junior Vaughn O’Gorman said he walks to relieve stress.

“I actually started because I saw a couple teachers walking in the halls,” O’Gorman said.  “I didn’t realize it would have this much of an impact on me.  I feel more comfortable going up the stairs.  It’s easier to longboard, even to skateboard.  I’ve never felt, and I don’t know if this is a cliché thing to say, more rejuvenated.  I feel better.  I feel healthier.”

The Huffington Post agrees, saying that walking makes a person calmer because walking releases endorphins, successfully making the exerciser less stressed.

Japanese teacher Shawn Beaty says that he also walks, but in the morning before school.

“I saw the bookkeeper walking in the mornings, too, and decided it’s more fun to walk with other people. You can’t get bored that way,” Beaty said. “I’ve invited other people, too, but they’re all just health haters.”

Beaty said he started walking simply because he was bored, but now it’s turned into more of a social gathering.

English teacher Debbie McDonough agrees, and says although she doesn’t walk at school, she has her own squad at home.

“I’m awake at 5 a.m. each morning and walk with my neighbors. We call ourselves Team Chamois,” McDonough said.  “It really is a positive and healthy way to start the day.”
Written by Emily Unterschutz