September 17, 2004  


Healthful Opportunities Are Only Steps Away

By Shawne Neeper

Imagine a universe in which long hours of number-crunching and mighty feats of equation-wrangling could build sleek, powerful physiques with strong, steady heartbeats. The desk-bound lunch hour would count as extra gym time—causing many SLAC employees to rank among the ultra-fit. Happily, SLAC has the next-best thing: a variety of healthy activities within easy reach of your office.

When the weather is nice, the Green becomes the scene for volleyball, soccer and other healthy activities. (Photo by Diana Rogers)

“We really do offer a lot,” said physician’s assistant and personal trainer Raylene Blandino (SHA). “People just don’t take advantage of it.” Blandino writes Options for Wellness, a bi-monthly newsletter which announces the latest programs and activities for SLAC employees.

To encourage fitness participation, the medical department offers a free, one-year Health Promise program, which provides a health screen, goal setting and a full physical exam every three months to track progress. They hope to increase participation this year. “[SLAC employees] work passionately,” said physician Maria Gherman (MED). “It’s amazing. But they need to take care of their bodies. Besides, it’s a source of fun.”

People looking for relief from stress, tight shoulders and back pain can contact certified massage therapist Mer Baldoza (ESD), Ext. 2009. Baldoza offers half hour ($25) and hour-long massages ($50). His combination of Shiatsu, sports, Swedish and deep tissue massage is popular. He is booked through October, but it is worth calling anyway. “When a new client calls, I put them on my waiting list,” Baldoza said. “If there’s any cancellation, I call them.” 

Employees can also build some muscle at SLAC’s air-conditioned gym, located in the exercise room in the northwest corner of Bldg. 34. For any-time access to the equipment, contact Diane Jenkins (MFD), Ext. 2215 and join for $25 per year. There are adjacent locker rooms and showers, which are open to everyone. 

Exercise With Others

Group aerobics and fitness classes are held in Bldg. 27, SLAC’s exercise studio. Aerobics classes taught by Cecilia Glower are offered for a nominal fee, and the first class is free.  Ziba Mahdavi (BLS) has been teaching free fitness classes here for six years. “It’s fun,” Mahdavi said. “I really do it because people like it.” Drop in any Monday or Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. for step aerobics, or any Tuesday or Thursday at noon for body sculpting. Wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothes. Come on time—classes do fill up. 

Other classes such as Pilates and Yoga are offered through Stanford’s Health Improvement Program (HIP).  Fall classes will begin the week of September 20, so sign up now. 

Get Some Fresh Air

To get some outdoor time, drop by for volleyball or soccer on The Green. “Anybody is welcome to play [volleyball],” said Nicolas Berger (EE), Ext. 3434, who maintains the volleyball e-mail list. “Volleyball is easy to pick up and many of our current players—myself included—came in with little or no experience.”

Maybe soccer is your game.  “It’s very light soccer—no pressure,” said Raphael Miranda (KLY), who helped launch the lunchtime soccer program. Join the game Mondays and Thursdays at noon on The Green. Contact Tu Ly tuly@SLAC.Stanford.EDU to join the e-mail list.

For up to date information about the SLAC wellness program and classes being offered, visit:   




The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Wednesday September 15, 2004 by Emily Ball