15 local health 'influencers' talk about what's ahead in 2015

By David Quick
The Post and Courier
Posted Jan. 5, 2015

Anyone on Twitter knows that the social media site uses the term "influencers" for people who have "the ability to inspire a community of people to act," though usually as a powerful sales tool.

The greater Charleston community, meanwhile, has dozens of influencers whose work, whether professional, volunteer or both, and personal actions cause ripple effects on making the population healthier and fitter.

The influencer's reach goes beyond a tight circle of friends, acquaintances or paying customers and builds momentum to improve the health of hundreds, if not thousands, of people.

Among the 15 selected to talk about their plans for 2015 are people who have been in the trenches for decades and some for just a few years.

For the full list 15 local health and fitness influencers for 2015, listed in alphabetical order, click here.

Chris Minkel

Chris and Amy Minkel

The owners of Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant have gone above and beyond reaching out to the community for new business owners with both training programs and charitable efforts in the 22 months since the store opened.

In 2014, Fleet Feet provided low cost or free training to more than 360 people, many new or novice runners, and fun-oriented "pub runs" that drew more than 180 last month.

After recognizing the need by some high school girls in less privileged high schools for properly fitting sports bras, they created the "Support the Girls" program. So far, Fleet Feet has fitted and donated 400 sports bras to girls in Charleston County ROTC programs.

The Minkels also work closely with the Meeting Street Academy running club, which has grown from six runners in the fall of 2013 to 76 in the fall of 2014.

For 2015: Fleet Feet added a new 5K training program, No Boundaries II, to help participants who have competed in a 5K continue to build on that base, slowly increasing mileage and pace to be ready to move onto longer distances, as well as a "Strollin Moms" group to help encourage moms at all levels of fitness to come together for a workout and some social time along with their little ones.

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