Column: From farming to yoga-the fitness journey of Joan Reed

Karl Lenser

This is the third installment of a monthly column on how to live a healthier life.

Joan Reed, who works in the UALR Nursing Department as a coordinator in the Higher Education Institute Program, has been an active individual since her childhood days in rural Vermont.

The foundations for her enthusiasm and passion for exercise were formed while growing up on a farm doing the usual assortment of chores, such as baling hay, milking cows, gardening, and cleaning up barn stalls. All of the farm work was exercise without Joan knowing it was exercise.

Joan is a self-described “exercise addict” that practices a consistent exercise routine that takes advantage of the wide variety of group-exercise classes that are available to faculty and staff at the Donaghey Student Center.

In addition, her diet is chock-full of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and low-cholesterol foods. “I discovered that the more dedicated I was to working out, the healthier I ate,” she said.

Joan Reed
Joan Reed

Q&A with Joan Reed

Birthplace: Barton, Vermont.

Education: High school diploma and a few college courses.

Family: I have five sisters and one brother. I am married with no children, but I have had four dogs over a 22-year period.

First year after high school: Receptionist/secretary at the University of Vermont in the College of Education and Social Services.

When did you start working at UALR: June 2001.

How, when, and why did you become such an avid exerciser? I grew up on a family farm, so there were always chores to do. Being active was engrained in me at an early age. Once I started working at the University of Vermont, I began to take fitness classes that were free to faculty and staff. I took these at my lunch hour and found that these workouts were a great mid-day break and recharged my battery for the rest of the day.

What motivates you to stay active and to be so consistent with your routine? The positive overall feeling that I get after a workout keeps me going.

If you miss a workout, how do you feel? Disappointed, upset, lethargic…and many more negatives!

What is your typical workout routine at the Donaghey Student Center? Monday: Strength & Conditioning at 12:15 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday: Barre Above at 11 a.m.; Wednesday: Walk/jog for two miles on the indoor track; Friday: Restorative Yoga at 12:15 p.m.

Why do you exercise? Because of the positive effects it has on both my mental and physical being.

Any advice you can give to the readers? It is never too late to start, and the benefits are numerous and far-reaching!

What is your favorite healthy snack/treat? Dark chocolate (for the antioxidants)

What is your favorite, decadent-I-don’t-care-about-the-calories, fat, and cholesterol food? Crème brule.

If you had a million dollars, what would you do? Give most of it away to charities (Humane Society, Red Cross, American Diabetes Association, etc.)

What did you have for breakfast today? Kashi Heart to Heart Oat Flakes and Blueberry Clusters cereal with skim milk, mango juice, and a cup of coffee.

What is your favorite movie? “Secondhand Lions”.

Karl Lenser is the UALR employee wellness coordinator.

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