Meet Our Step Challenge Spokesperson: Alex Rohal
Hello everyone my name is Alex. I recently started working at BABB, Inc. as an Account Manager in Group Benefits. Shortly after I began to work here, I heard about the SparkPittsburgh Step Challenge, and it immediately caught my attention. After hearing more about the challenge and finding out what it was all about I was more than happy to become a spokesperson.
Growing up I was an active kid, always playing sports outside and riding my bike everywhere. I also played multiple sports for my school so I never really had much of a problem staying in shape! That all changed when I went to college as my priorities and lifestyle drastically changed. I no longer was the active kid getting a lot of exercise that I once was. When I did have free time and wasn’t studying, I was usually either partying or being lazy and playing video games. Neither of which kept me in any kind of healthy, physical shape. Another thing that changed when I went to college was I did not have my parents making dinner for me every night anymore, which led me to ordering and eating pizza every night of the week. As all of these things were taking place at the same time it was never a thought to me that I would put on weight, because it was never something I had to deal with growing up. All of a sudden, it seemed like out of nowhere, I had put on 20 pounds just like that and I couldn’t believe it. After I realized how much weight I had put on I said to myself I can’t keep living like this or I am just going to continue to put on weight and that thought really worried me, as I had never had to deal with this problem before. I decided I was going to do whatever I had to get in shape again. I started to walk regularly every day to every one of my classes that I used to drive to before. I started to weight lift multiple times a week and began watching what I was eating on a daily basis. After I starting doing these things, I noticed the weight came off and I really started to overall feel so much better about my health and appearance. I started having more energy to do other activities, and I realized I didn’t used to be so tired from studying, but I was just tired in general because my body wasn’t getting enough exercise or the appropriate nutrients.
After I had made these changes many years ago in college, I have stuck to those same principles. I have been able to keep the weight off and have plenty of energy. Today I make sure I walk for at least 45 minutes a day during the work week and on the weekend I always try to get outside with my wife and hike trails or ride bikes. There are so many little things you can do in your daily lives to make a difference as well, such as taking the stairs when they are available instead of the elevator, or maybe next time you go to the store, don’t look for that close parking spot, and park as far away as you can to get some extra steps in. All of those little things add up and can make a big difference. Walking is a great way to keep your weight in check and keep you healthy. It will boost your energy and your mood throughout the day, as well as giving you that personal satisfaction of “hey I worked out today! I am doing something good for myself!” Whether you want to lose weight or you just want to stay healthy, walking combined with a good diet will get you on the right track.
I am very excited to participate in the SparkPittsburgh Step Challenge. After hearing what it was all about and realizing that my story could hopefully give others the motivation they needed to get active and healthy, I couldn’t imagine not participating. Everyone deserves to be happy and healthy so let’s get started!!