Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan

Jessica Rodriguez, an occupational therapist at CHA HPMC, is one of our first employees to sign-up for the AHA Heart Walk 2019 in Pasadena, Los Angeles. Rodriguez signed up for the 5 K (kilometer) walk and started preparations the same day. “Even though I am physically healthy and indulge in fitness activities, I was a little intimidated and wondered if I could finish the walk,” she says, adding that this is her first 5K walk.

Rodriguez made it her mission to cross the finish line at AHA Heart Walk and shares her preparation details with us:

Training for the walk: She started 20-30 minutes of walk at an easy pace, 2-3 times per week, during the first two weeks of her preparation and gradually increased it to 40-50 minutes in the following weeks. “I took it slow and steady to gradually build stamina and train my body for the walk.”

Finding the right walking posture: While it is essential to build stamina and train the body, it is also important to maintain the right posture while walking to avoid any negative effects such as back pain. “I followed techniques such as keeping back straight, breathing correctly, looking forward, and keeping chin up during my daily walks.”

Choosing the right footwear: Before beginning her training, Rodriguez invested in a good walking shoe. “For me, one of the key things to succeed in the walk is having the right shoe. I invested in a good walking shoe which is the right fit and comfortable for me.”

Staying hydrated: During her daily walks and fitness activities, she ensures to stay hydrated and carries enough water. “For the final walk on September 28, I will carry additional water bottles to help me remain energized throughout the course.”

Packing for the final walk: Last but not least, Rodriguez is armed with a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock to prevent sun exposure and protect her skin as she graciously crosses the finish line at the AHA Heart Walk and achieves her mission.

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