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The fitness diaries: JoAnne Bunnage

Swimming for body and mind


Kirsten Glaeser, Barb Anderson, Heidi Henry, JoAnne Bunnage and Beth Lambright

JoAnne Bunnage was practically born a “water baby.” Her earliest memory involves her 24-month-old self jumping off a diving board, and her happiest memories involve being in the water. She still manages to fit water time in to her busy weekly schedule thanks to Faculty Staff Fitness (FSF). Although she’s the first to admit that her biggest obstacle is finding time to make activity a priority, FSF minimizes some of those barriers because classes are offered at work.

JoAnne’s been involved with FSF since the late 1980s, when she was working in OSU’s intercollegiate athletics department. At that time, she took Bill Winkler’s circuit weight training class and Ann Asbell’s golf class. “FSF classes are convenient, taught by excellent instructors and are filled with great people,” she says. “The courses focus on improving fitness in an environment that is welcoming of everyone.”

FSF, which is housed in the CPPHS, is designed to make physical activity convenient to current and retired faculty and staff, graduate students and their spouse or partners. The program has been running for 32 years and provides nearly 600 participants with more than 30 activities before and after work or during the lunch hour.

JoAnne’s current routine encompass activities she genuinely enjoys, which include swimming, weekend hiking and biking, gardening, yoga and Pilates. Since she loves anything in the water, aqua aerobics is naturally her favorite FSF class and her personal formula for health and happiness.

JoAnne was fortunate to grow up in an active family, who enjoyed being outside and pursuing a wide array of recreational activities. Since it was a priority in her household, she was able to witness firsthand the cognitive, physical and spiritual effects of an active lifestyle.

Her grandparents, whom she considers excellent role models, enjoyed gardening and swimming into their late 80s. Her grandmother swam at Osborn Aquatics Center until she was nearly 90, and her 85-year-old mother currently participates in aqua aerobics three times a week. JoAnne hopes to match their longevity and know staying active is part of the formula.

For JoAnne, FSF classes keep her connected to OSU and its people while helping her stay active. She also participates in the PEBB StayFit Program, which gives members a $15 subsidy for participating in physical activity at an approved facility each month.

JoAnne’s personal fitness philosophy is a simple testament to being accountable for the choices she makes today for her best health and well-being.

“Don’t put off doing today what you may not be able to do tomorrow,” she says. “Take a tip from Nike and ‘Just Do It!’ Squeezing in a few minutes of activity can add up to 45-50 minutes of activity over the course of a day. Also, find a group of trusted friends who keep you accountable in a fun and positive way.”