Three days before Humana’s 100-Day Dash in 2016, Jamie Edmonds, 28, a Consumer Experience consultant in the company’s Biltmore office, had heart surgery to replace her aortic valve due to complications from a congenital heart defect. Edmonds’ team was concerned about her and confused as to why she would still sign up for Humana’s annual step challenge.
“I told them not to worry, that I would make it to a million steps,” Edmonds recalled. “A large part of recovering from heart surgery is walking. A couple days after surgery, I was well enough to start walking around the hospital so I had my husband bring me my Fitbit. I didn’t get many steps and what steps I did get around the ICU felt more exhausting than after I finished a marathon.
“Once I was discharged, my doctor’s orders were to walk, walk, walk,” Edmonds explained. “The Dash was truly my motivation to walk as much as I did during my recovery.”
The annual Dash is open to all Humana associates and their adult dependents who participate in Go365, a wellness rewards program. Steps are tracked by pedometers or other fitness devices, and associates with physical disabilities or medical conditions that prevent them from walking/running participate in an alternative workout program.
“I’m truly lucky to work for a company that supports wellness and my well-being,” Edmonds says. “Humana and its Go365 wellness program, as well as the support of my colleagues, really helped get me back on track.”
After 100 days, Edmonds had achieved her goal of 1 million steps and this year she committed to go even farther and get 1.25 million steps during the 100-Day Dash, when ended on July 10. Her result? Not only did she surpass her goat at 1.36 million steps, she is participating in the Dave McKay Memorial Half-Marathon on Aug. 12 in Flagstaff.
“I used to take physical activity for granted,” Edmonds said. “My heart surgery and other health issues this past year completely changed my perspective. It used to be that ‘I have to run’ or ‘I have to get my steps in.’ Now it’s ‘I get to run’ and ‘I get to get my steps.’”