Suzanne Brisk standing at the Upstate Community campus Monday MileName:Suzanne Brisk
Age:Celebrating 57 years!
Location:Fayetteville, NY

Your day job: Pathway to Wellness Coordinator at Upstate Medical Center

Your second job (how you spend most of your remaining hours): Until recently, my beautiful 85 pound black lab/golden retriever used to walk me quite a bit and fill much of my extra time as we were always looking for great places to walk.  I am checking out Swing-Out-Syracuse events and am going to learn the West Coast Swing (bucket list) at the Tyrol Club Solvay.   I enjoy teaching swimming at the YMCA and have committed to a project to up-cycle a piece of furniture into a bench.

What kinds of activities do you do to stay healthy? Nutrition wise- I make sure I eat dark leafy greens, calciferous vegetables- like broccoli and fresh fruit.   A coworker turned me on to steel- cut oat meal when I lived in Indiana and I enjoy that for breakfast!

I love the boot camp classes offered at the Campus Activities Building here at Upstate.    I have been attending these clases for about 2 years now and have felt stronger since starting.   I just started the Tabata class at the CAB as well and I am loving that too.   The students are energizing and fun and the classes push me more than I push myself.

Last month I started a challenge to do 10 minutes of exercise in the morning.  I choose a workout  from– Workout of the day ! GWOD!  I love that it is challenging and can be completed in 10-24 minutes!  I even like the names they call the workouts- like “Tabata Tuesday”,   “Don’t puke” or “Cross road Crusher”

I also enjoy swimming, walking with my friend Toni (we used to lifeguard together during college) at Green Lakes and I putter in the garden.  I also help my Mom with her lawn- which includes mowing every week in the summer. I think those activities- being with family and good friends and being outside with nature help manage stress!

What challenges do you face when it comes to staying healthy? Change is a big challenge, the recent passing of my dog means I am not walking as regularly.  So I need to start a new routine to manage the caloric changes.    Also a change in my health required taking a medication which can cause weight gain.  I want to stay active to avoid the weight staying on as I wean off the medication.

How do you try to work with or around those barriers? By being aware of the changes and conscious that change disrupts even my healthy routines.  I am actively trying out new activities like the Tabata, dance classes and walking with friends.  At work, there is a group of friends who are dedicated walkers (Monday Mile- Wellness walkers!) who keep me accountable to move during the work day.  I also try to get in a few flights of stairs each day, where I can.

What advice do you have for others? Never give up on yourself.  Look for things that are fun, social and that you enjoy to stay active!   Think about keeping strong and fit for a lifetime of great health.