According to First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, adults should strive to be active for at least 30 minutes per day, at least five days a week for six out of eight weeks. Regular exercise has substantial benefits, including looking and feeling better, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improved blood sugar levels, stronger bones, more energy, and reduced stress and depression.

Employees at Keck Medicine of USC – Pasadena have a way to meet their exercise goals and reap those benefits, thanks to a new healthy living initiative called Pasadena Wellness Walks.

The initiative, begun on March 20, comprises seven routes: Five are totally accessible indoors on the building’s fourth floor, while two longer routes promote outdoor health and enjoyment around the block.

Each path has a recommended number of laps that equal 1 mile:

  • Outdoor routes include the North & South Lobby Route (six laps) and the Hospital Block Route (one lap).
  • Indoor routes include the There and Back Again Route (20 laps), the Nurse’s Station Blitz (13 laps), the Bronze Route (20 laps), the Silver Route (12 laps) and the Gold Route (10 laps).

Keck Medicine of USC – Pasadena employees received maps of the various routes and healthy living tips to kick off the initiative. (The Nurse’s Station Blitz, Silver and Gold Routes travel directly through clinical areas, so walkers were also cautioned to be mindful of patients.)

“We can all be a little more healthy and fit,” said Clark Whitworth, an administrative intern and master of public health student who, along with Sharon Lee, associate administrator at Keck Medicine of USC – Pasadena, created the program.

“Sharon is passionate about wellness, and when we developed these routes we knew that being busy is probably the No. 1 excuse for not exercising,” he continued.  “If people can build movement into their days, we can help overcome that. We tried to put ourselves in the shoes of our nurses, doctors and staff during their full schedules.”

— Amy E. Hamaker