September 2014

Member of the Month: Carrie Niles

The Member of the Month section provides a way for us to recognize dedicated Blomeyer members who have been working hard and cosistently to get in better health and shape with the help of the BHFC. If you know a fellow Blomeyer member whose efforts should not go unnoticed, please tell us!

To nominate someone, please send us an email at with the name and a few highlights of the person you'd like to see as our next Member of the Month.

The Blomeyer Member of the Month for September 2014 is Carrie Niles. Congratulations, Carrie!

How did you start your wellness lifestyle?
I became interested in fitness and my wellness lifestyle once I joined the military.

What have you accomplished thus far concerning your health?
I have participated in several boot camps and fitness challenges offered by Blomeyer.

What are your future wellness endeavors?
I am currently training for my first half marathon.

Columbus, GA

What types of hobbies and interests do you have outside of exercising?
I enjoy dancing, bowling, golf and movies.

Fun fact about you:
I’m very competitive and a SEC fanatic.

What department do you work for?
Student Information Systems


  • Favorite food: French Fries
  • Movie: Legends of the Fall
  • Sport: College football
  • Exercise: Running
  • Music: Pop and R&B

Exercise and Cardiovascular Health

Johnathan Myers, PhD - Circulation, American Heart Association

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the 5 major risk factors (along with high blood pressure, abnormal values for blood lipids, smoking, and obesity) for cardiovascular disease, as outlined by the AHA. Evidence from many scientific studies shows that reducing these risk factors decreases the chance of having a heart attack or experiencing another cardiac event, such as a stroke, and reduces the possibility of needing a coronary revascularization procedure (bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty).

Regular exercise has a favorable effect on many of the established risk factors for cardiovascular disease. For example, exercise promotes weight reduction and can help reduce blood pressure. Exercise can reduce “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood (the low-density lipoprotein [LDL] level), as well as total cholesterol, and can raise the “good” cholesterol (the high-density lipoprotein level [HDL]).

In diabetic patients, regular activity favorably affects the body’s ability to use insulin to control glucose levels in the blood. Although the effect of an exercise program on any single risk factor may generally be small, the effect of continued, moderate exercise on overall cardiovascular risk, when combined with other lifestyle modifications (such as proper nutrition, smoking cessation, and medication use), can be dramatic.

Benefits of regular exercise on cardiovascular risk factors:

  • Increase in exercise tolerance
  • Reduction in body weight
  • Reduction in blood pressure
  • Reduction in bad (LDL and total) cholesterol
  • Increase in good (HDL) cholesterol
  • Increase in insulin sensitivity

Patients with newly diagnosed heart disease who participate in an exercise program report an earlier return to work and improvements in other measures of quality of life, such as more self-confidence, lower stress, and less anxiety. Importantly, by combining controlled studies, researchers have found that for heart attack patients who participated in a formal exercise program, the death rate is reduced by 20% to 25%. This is strong evidence in support of physical activity for patients with heart disease.

Although the benefits of exercise are unquestionable, it should be noted that exercise programs alone for patients with heart disease have not convincingly shown improvement in the heart’s pumping ability or the diameter of the coronary vessels that supply oxygen to the heart muscle.

Recipe: Heart-Healthy Blueberry Smoothie


  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup granular sucralose sweetener (such as Splenda)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth (~2 minutes).

Quote of the Month

People with fitness goals succeed because they know where they're going.


Health Observances of the Month

  • Better Breakfast Month
  • Positive Thinking Day
  • World Heart Day