Take Heart: Mason Promotes Wellness, Well-Being with Walk and Health Checks

George Mason University students, faculty and staff will have a spring in their steps just in time for the arrival of the fall season.Registration is open for a key George Mason wellness and well-being initiative as the Wellness by Mason Happy Heart Walk kicks off at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 24, at all three main campuses.

“It’s a low-key, fun walk,” says Janet Walker, the work/life and communications coordinator for the Office of Human Resources and Payroll. “We just want people to come out, take a break and enjoy what hopefully will be a spectacular autumn day.”

Walk leaders on the Fairfax Campus are Beth Cabrera, a senior scholar at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, and Brad Edwards, Mason’s new athletic director. They’ll welcome participants in the Wellness Circle in front of Merten Hall.

“I love participating in the Happy Heart Walk because it’s always such fun and it incorporates several factors that contribute to our well-being—being social, spending time outside and moving our bodies,” says Cabrera.

Lori Scher, assistant dean for University Life on the Arlington Campus, and Richard Kelsey, assistant dean in the School of Law, will lead the way on the Arlington Campus, beginning outside Founders Hall.

On the Prince William Campus, Ron Carmichael, the campus’ chief operating officer, and Carrie McVicker, operations and events coordinator, will lead the walk from the Bull Run Hall lobby. McVicker says the walk is about wellnessand well-being. “Exercise has never let me down,” she says. “It’s been with me in good times and in bad. I try to encourage others to get out and move. Exercise in any form is great for the body as well as the mind, giving me a sense of accomplishment when I push myself—even when I don’t feel like it.”

All teams will compete for the Happy Heart Team Award, fondly named Valerian (valiant, strong and healthy in Latin). This plush, stuffed heart was earned last year by the four-year-old preschool students of Mason’s Child Development Center. The tots will return this year to try to repeat their victory, and hang on to Valerian.

Mason employees also can visit the Kaiser Permanente Mobile Health Vehicle in the parking lot in front of Merten Hall from 9 a.m. to noon on Sept. 24. Faculty and staff do not have to be a Kaiser health insurance member to stop by for a free, Know Your Numbers health check. Participants can measure blood pressure, body mass index, glucose and cholesterol, and discuss health management.

If you are busy Sept. 24, try joining Human Resources and Payroll‘s Life/Work Connections Team’s “Who’s Walkin’ Wednesday?” These weekly, 30-minute walks around campus take place almost year-round, and also begin in the Wellness Circle in front of Merten Hall. Walk leaders can sign up in advance.

And mark your calendars for Oct.9—Winter Wellness Day. Flu shot clinics will be held, and information for better financial health will be available on the Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Campuses.

By Sudha Kamath

Write to Sudha Kamath at skamath@gmu.edu

 Original Source: Mason News, http://newsdesk.gmu.edu/2014/09/take-heart-mason-promotes-wellness-well-walk-health-checks/