Sampath Prahalad, M.D., division chief of pediatric rheumatology in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, is no stranger to hitting his daily steps target. With his Fitbit buzzing on his wrist, he regularly exceeds the 10,000 step goal—especially on his inpatient on-call days at Egleston.
“Every day I am on call in the hospital, I find myself choosing the stair gyms over waiting for the elevators.” He said. “I know that I’m burning more calories and it’s good for me.”
While participating in Corporate Athlete training for physicians, Dr. Prahalad learned about the Kaiser Permanente Run/Walk, Children’s largest annual employee event, and decided to sign up as part of the physician team.
“After Corporate Athlete training, I felt motivated and the race felt like something I could do,” He said.
Beyond his usual stair workouts in the hospital, Dr. Prahalad went about his preparation through light, consistent training. “In rheumatology, we tell our patients to pursue activities as tolerated, so that’s what I did.” He said.
Using his FitBit and a high school track near his home, Dr. Prahalad calculated that 11 laps around the oval equaled the length of a 5K race. Once or twice per week, he would walk and run around the track for 3.1 miles.
“My daughters, who are ages 10 and 7, would run with me on the track and encourage me.” He said. “As I was getting near my final laps, they would walk, run or bike with me.”
On race day, Dr. Prahalad worked long clinic hours, but was determined to conquer the 5K course. He was joined at the starting line by other clinical staff members he works with on a regular basis.