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It's all WellNS and good

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Training specialists Brianna Johnson, left, and Bryan Salter run in place for WellNS.

As a fast-paced tune set the tempo, co-workers Bryan Salter and Brianna Johnson, training specialists at NS' McDonough Training Center, stood side-by-side, their knees pumping like crazy as they ran in place. They were taking part in one of the more lively exhibits at the safety expo.

To encourage employees to get active, the WellNS group's exhibit had them competing to see who could run the most steps in three minutes. The top 10 were entered in a drawing for a prize. But the real WellNS prize is better health and a longer life, said Recardo Wimbush, a trainmaster at Atlanta's Inman Yard and one of the WellNS volunteers who kept track of the steps.

"We can all do a better job of eating healthier, getting active, making our lives longer," said Wimbush. Keeping active and staying healthy contributes to working safely, he added.

"If I'm active and keep myself busy, I feel a lot better mentally and physically, and my life is a whole lot better," he said. In addition, participating in WellNS' Virgin HealthMiles program can fatten your wallet - over two years, Wimbush said he has earned $825 by recording his healthy activities, including walking and other exercise. "It's free money on the table," he said.

Salter and Johnson also participate in Virgin HealthMiles. They like the program because it helps them keep track of their accomplishments. They also want to set a good example to the new employees who train at McDonough.

"There's a WellNS component to our training, and I feel I need to participate if I'm teaching employees that this is the way to go," Johnson said.