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Honoring a Champ: Rita Romine Keeps Healthy Living a Lifelong Pursuit

by on June 5, 2017
Rita Romine, Wellness Champ and executive administrative assistant for Corporate Communications. Photo by Ken Drenten.

This is one of an ongoing series of articles about Wellness Champions, “Honoring a Champ,” focusing on AEP employees who are not only engaged in their own well-being, but have also volunteered to support employee health and well-being across the system. The purpose of this series is to allow employees to get to know each other better, and to encourage an ongoing conversation about health and well-being among employees. This story focuses on Rita Romine, executive administrative assistant in Corporate Communications at AEP Headquarters. Rita will have worked for AEP 40 years as of August 22.

Q: Why do you value good health?

A: Good health keeps you happy and alive!

Q: What motivates you to be a Wellness Champion?

A: To instill good healthy behavior with my co-workers, and to lead by example.

Q: Share a few tips that help you live a healthier lifestyle.

A: Healthy living is my number-one goal. Build workouts and meal planning into your everyday schedule.

Q: What is your biggest challenge related to keeping yourself as healthy as possible?

A: Getting my workouts in during the day. My goal is five days a week, but three is OK. Oh, did I say age? 🙂

Q: What is your favorite healthy food?

A: Fruits and vegetables of all kinds and prepared in many different ways.

Rita Romine, shown second from right (leaning against tree), competed in a bicycle race with some of her AEP co-workers that raised funds for the March of Dimes in 1978 or 1979. She won the race and a new bicycle. AEP file photo

Q: What is your favorite exercise or fitness activity that you do on a regular basis?

A: Right now, it is the rowing machine. I find that it provides good exercise for about every part of my body. I still get in cardio and upper body weights.

Q: Can you share any personal, meaningful accomplishments related to your health and well-being?

A: Good question. I’m fortunate at the age of 60 to be able to look back many years, and since an early age, I was actively building a healthy lifestyle. I have many memories from when I was a child/teen/adult of being outdoors playing softball, riding bicycles, hiking, climbing rocks in the Hocking Hills, playing tennis and racquetball, swimming, snorkeling, kayaking/canoeing and gardening. I do many of these activities still to this day. The goal is to stay focused on your health and be active. My 86-year-old mom says to keep moving and don’t sit too long!

I was lucky that I lived in a home where no one smoked tobacco. So that example was already in place.

I have participated in many races (running and bicycle), mostly through AEP activities and sponsorships. Some of these include charity walks/rides, corporate challenges and corporate softball games. But one event early in my life that I remember was at eighth grade summer camp, where the girls and boys competed separately in the same sports — running dashes and relays, jumping, rope climbing, etc. — and we accumulated points. All the activities were the same, but I just competed against the girls. I accumulated the most points overall, including the boys. I was embarrassed!

So building this active and healthy lifestyle from an early age gives you an advantage of staying healthy.

I don’t run in races anymore, but I do continue to have the same kind of competitive attitude toward my health and well-being, like counting steps and keeping track of what I eat.



From → Wellness

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