By Jenn Keating
DHAC Exercise Physiologist and Manager
The human body always fascinated me. In 2007, I enrolled in my freshman year at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with a major in Nursing. I did not exercise much growing up. I didn’t even know what an elliptical was – not kidding!
In college, I was still kind of chubby. My roommate, however, was extremely physically active and got me addicted to the gym. That elliptical became my best friend. I noticed how much more energy I had and I just felt good ALL the time.
When I began my clinical and my course load increased, so did my stress levels. My schedule was so busy that I was lucky if I got to the gym once a week. I didn’t like how I felt; I had trouble sleeping, I was anxious all the time and it was physically impossible for me to relax. I even started to get chest pain, and I knew something was wrong.
When I went to the ER, they injected me with a muscle relaxer to ease the pain. This was just craziness to me. Why am I going to INJECT something into my body to help MASK symptoms of a problem that I can cure on my own?
I thought I wanted to become a nurse to help others be healthy and there I was, putting so much stress on my own body that I was making myself sick. Hypocritical?
When I look back at all I learned in three years of nursing school, I learned a lot about caring for patients and teaching them about how to live a healthy lifestyle. I wondered why I couldn't teach them how to exercise instead. Maybe this would prevent them from needing a new medication or being hospitalized.
One month later, I transfered to UMass Boston to study Exercise and Health Science. It was the best decision of my life. I am so excited to be working with the other exercise physiologists at DHAC. I look forward to sharing what I learned in both the classroom and in real life.
I learned first hand that exercise is the best medicine and I want to show people that being physically active can change their lives the way it did for me. Can't wait to meet you!