One of the best parts of my job involves visiting agencies all across the state and learning about the fun and healthy activities Wellness Champions have organized for their employees. Lots of agencies host healthy potlucks and have weekly walking clubs, both of which are great ways to get lots of employees involved in wellness. However, a few agencies and worksites hold a special place in my heart for the truly unique wellness activities they offer. One such worksite is the MassHealth Electronic Document Management Center in East Taunton. Led by Wellness Champion Lori Rodrigues, EDMC employees participate in a Kayak Club at nearby Lake Rico.
Spurred by her interest in kayaking and desire to make exercise a social event, Lori started the club last July:
“When it comes to being healthy, I am always looking for new ways to be active, so when a coworker shared her love of kayaking with me, the decision to start a kayaking club was a no-brainer. What I love most about kayaking is the overall effect it has on mental health, which provides a relaxing workout. Kayaking can be peaceful, meditative, or even exhilarating! It is also a great way to clear your mind. Starting the kayak club at the EDMC has been a fun social activity that will continue to grow!”
Lori recruited her fellow kayakers through word of mouth and clever emails that touted the benefits of kayaking (Did you know that you can burn over 200 calories just by kayaking for 30 minutes?). Although only a handful of employees participated in the club’s first outing, word of mouth spread quickly at the EDMC, and the club soon grew in size. Some of the participants already owned their own kayaks and were eager for an opportunity to take them out. Others were new to the kayaking world and ended up renting kayaks to try their hand at the sport.
So far, the Kayak Club has met three times at various locations throughout the area, and, although kayaking season has come to an end, Lori plans to start the club back up again next Spring.