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Step-By-Step Success to Better Health

Released: Friday, May 27, 2005

BATON ROUGE - Webster’s dictionary defines success as a favorable outcome, result. Jeanette Grip, on the other hand, defines success as a step-by-step process.

Three years ago, Grip would not have imagined how it would be to hike the rough terrain of the Alaskan trails, walk through the crisp Appalachian Mountains or foot her way around the entire circumference of the United States. But thanks to a splash of motivation, a dash of determination and a pinch of discovery, Grip, equipped with a pedometer, became healthy enough to tackle the equivalent of such a monumental cross-country adventure.

Before hiking, walking and footing, Grip found herself at a crossroads at which would determine her future health or sickness. At age 55, standing at 5’2 and weighing 165 pounds, Grip became more aware of her high blood pressure, constant fatigue and physical inactivity. Deciding to take charge of her well being, Grip enrolled in a Weight Loss Maintenance (WLM) program at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) in January 2004. Later that year, Grip was placed in a strictly self-motivational section of the study, positioning her as both sole governor and benefactor of her continual health. Shortly after, Grip’s doctor ended blood pressure treatment in part due to her willingness to abide by the program.

“At that point I made up my mind to continue this lifestyle and even incorporate daily exercise into my routine,” said Grip.

Following WLM, Grip visited a Louisiana on the Move (LOM) exhibit featured at the Wellness Day for Women taking place at PBRC, and bought a pedometer - a purchase that changed her life. A small black, LOM pedometer, capable of digitally recording each step taken, could comfortably and discretely fasten to Grip’s belt. In effortless fashion, Grip recorded the amount of steps she walked by utilizing the LOM website. This fun feature also permitted Grip to pick a virtual path like the Alaskan Trails or Appalachian Mountains, getting her mind off a number and onto the bit-by-bit success. The program tracked her daily progress along a well-known trail. Grip explains that in addition to the pedometer, LOM and the institute that supports it have also proven to be incredibly beneficial.

“The Baton Rouge and local communities are very fortunate to have such a remarkable research institution as PBRC to administer such programs as Louisiana On the Move,” said Grip.

Stepping in the right direction isn’t always convenient or difficulty-free, but as Grip demonstrates, each step of the way can be in a healthier, better direction than the last.

“My cross-country, 1,987,000 steps have given me more energy and increased stamina,” said Grip. “I am doing all the 5K and 10K walk/runs I can enroll in and all because of Louisiana on the Move, PBRC and my own motivation to continuously live a healthy life.”

Step-by-step, Grip focuses on living actively and healthily, and each day brings forth a new opportunity to enact her skills and knowledge for doing so. She admits there is always a challenge, but putting one foot in front of the other is just the stride taken to not just overcome each hurdle, but to carry on in the stroll of life.

If you would like to learn how you can get involved with LOM, visit http://www.americaonthemove.org for more information.

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.