Walking to better health – Jani's story

Jani York web.jpgIf you walk into the wellness center at Northwest Medical Center (NMC) in Albany, most mornings you will find Jani York briskly walking on the treadmill. It’s a habit she’s kept up for almost two years after realizing it was time to focus on her health. 

“I was in my mid-50s and I couldn’t walk up steps without my heart pounding,” says Jani. “My blood sugar was high and so was my blood pressure. I was pre-diabetic. I prayed about it, got the ok from my doctor and decided to join the wellness center at NMC.”

In the beginning, Jani walked 10-15 minutes at a time on the treadmill. “I walked three days a week at first, then I decided I could do five days a week,” says Jani. “It wasn’t just the walking that made a difference though,” Jani adds. “Staci Downing, a cardiac nurse here at the wellness center, kept an eye on me by monitoring my weight and vitals. She shared recipes with me, showed me where hidden sugars were in foods and has been a great support system for me.”

Since 2016, Jani has walked more than 1,200 miles and the number continues to climb. She has also lost 80 pounds and has lowered her blood sugar and blood pressure. “The weight didn’t come on at once and it didn’t go off at once,” Jani says. “You have to set attainable goals and have people around you to encourage you to continue to do it.”

More than anything, according to staff at the wellness center, Jani has made a huge difference for others who work out there throughout the week. “She’s been an encouragement to every other patient here, staff included. She has a huge heart.” says Staci Downing, RN. 

For Jani, the friendship and camaraderie at the wellness center has been pivotal. “Coming here has made all the difference,” says Jani. “I blew through my original goal and have maintained since May. If I can do it, anyone can do it.”