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Walk Star: Steve Poninski

By Jay Morris

Every once in a while we like to spotlight a Walk Georgia user who is a clear example of what it means to move more and live more! That being said, we would like to extend a welcome to our Walk Star of the month: Steve Poninski.

Steve Poninski works for the shipping and receiving department of the University Health Center. I had the opportunity to interview Steve in his office to discuss how Walk Georgia has helped him accomplish his health and fitness goals. Upon meeting him, Steve gave me the impression that he was a friendly, good-natured guy. In fact, when I asked Steve what inspired him to become more physically active, he told me that friendship was a huge factor.

“I had a pretty good friend who worked at the rock climbing wall in Ramsey. He was always kidding with me about working out at Ramsey more! I blew him off for a while because I wasn’t that interested in rock climbing. But then I found out that Ramsey offered yoga classes, and that’s really how I got started!”

And Steve believes that wanting to become better at yoga largely motivated his health and fitness goals. Steve told me that his primary goals were to become more flexible and lose weight. He says that yoga is appealing to him because it is low-impact, and he can watch himself become better at yoga as his flexibility improves.

When I asked him how Walk Georgia has helped him in his fitness journey, he told me “Walk Georgia has helped me see how much exercise I am doing. Logging my activity is great because I can look back and feel a sense of accomplishment at all I’ve done. Sometimes when I look at my activity, I can remember exactly how I was feeling during that particular workout.”

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But he also recognizes that staying on track with his fitness goals is not always easy. There were certain lifestyle changes that Steve had to make in order to improve his health. He told me that he stopped eating meat for a while to cut certain fats out of his diet. Now he says that he is working on cutting down unnecessary carbs.

‘But they’re [carbs] everywhere!” he exclaimed. Which I think we can all relate to! Steve is firm in his belief that exercise is only half the battle. He believes that you have to change your diet to really see results.

He knows that he’s put a lot of effort into changing his lifestyle, so I asked him what helps him push forward on days where he doesn’t feel motivated to work out. He told me that he simply loves feeling great! “I have never had as much energy as I do now. Plus, I’m a smaller size now than I was in high school!” The boost in energy he gets from working out makes him want to be active even if it’s been a rough day.

He also tells me that part of his secret is just making time. He says that waking up early helps him set aside time for working out. But not everyone is an early bird! Part of accomplishing your goals is to know yourself well enough to know what will help you succeed.

We hope reading Steve’s story will help inspire you to make time and power through! Before you know it, you’ll have more energy and you’ll also feel great!

Don’t forget that you can also keep track of your physical activity with Walk Georgia, where we are dedicated to helping you move more and live more! And if you know someone who you think is a Walk Georgia Walk Star, you can nominate them by sending an email to walkga@uga.edu!