By Sarah Fedele
Phillip Parker is a Kernersville resident who has made heart-healthy living and fitness a way of life. He does not just talk about the benefits of getting healthy, or the reasons why you need to do it…he actually lives it.
“I first started working out in high school and got into playing basketball. That led to a full scholarship playing ball at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory as a guard,” shared Phillip.
After he graduated with his bachelor’s in education, Phillip continued being active, but wanted to keep it fun. “I hate doing cardio,” he declared. “Instead, I like to do all sorts of physical activity that make my workouts more exciting.” Phillip works out five to six days a week, one hour per day, and incorporates spin classes, kick-boxing, 9Rounds, weight lifting, jumping rope, and alternating a different muscle group workout each day.
When he was 37 years old, Phillip lost his mother to obesity. She dealt with the effects of illness due to a dangerous weight issue for nearly 10 years. “My mother had a lot of health issues, including diabetes and heart disease, that stemmed from her weight,” said Phillip.
Phillip and his wife, Tracey, have lived in Kernersville for the last fifteen years. They have been blessed with two grandchildren – Parker, who is six years old and Alaina, who is one. This has led Phillip and Tracey to be even more driven to stay on a heart-healthy plan. Even when they frequent their favorite Kernersville restaurant, Giadas Trattoria, they try to stay on the healthier side of delicious. “My favorite meal when Tracey and I go out to Giadas is their spinach lasagna,” shared Phillip. His walks out at Triad Park help to burn off some of their date night meals.
Phillip is the Category Manager at Lowes Foods and works out of their headquarters in Winston-Salem. He has worked at Lowes Foods for over 34 years.
He has also started to share his passion for fitness with others. He has helped to train some members of the Lowes Wellness Team and has several personal training clients that he works with in his off-time at Kraze Fitness in Winston-Salem. “I went to school with the intention of being a teacher or coach. I am happy to be doing some coaching to help others in my community choose a healthier way of life,” shared Phillip.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States and the second leading cause of death in Forsyth County. Stroke is the leading cause of permanent disability in our nation and is the fourth leading cause of death in Forsyth County. There is good news – up to 80% of heart disease and stroke issues can be prevented by managing vital heart health numbers such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and by making heart-healthy choices when it comes to nutrition and physical activity.
The American Heart Association’s Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk will take place at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter at Bailey Park on Saturday, November 11. Along with Forsyth County Healthy For Good Sponsors Wake Forest Baptist Health and MedCost, Phillip Parker will be at the Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk as the Coach of the Lowes Foods Walk Team. Together, 17 Lowes Foods teammates are striving to raise $2,500 to benefit heart disease and stroke research and prevention education in our community.
The Winston-Salem Heart & Stroke Walk will be honoring local veterans during the opening ceremonies, celebrating local heart disease and stroke survivors during the Red & White Cap Ceremony, getting kids moving at the Kid Zone, and encouraging everyone to enjoy the stroller and dog friendly 1, 2, or 4-mile downtown walk. Walk participants can also get their doggies dressed to impress for Pooches on Parade prior to the walk.
To donate to the Lowes Foods Heart & Stroke Walk Team or to gather friends and family to create your own team, visit www.winstonsalemheartwalk.org. For heart-healthy tips, tools, and recipes to reduce your risk factors for heart disease or stroke, visit www.heart.org/healthyliving.