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Southern on the Move

03/30/2010
By:

Jeff Nowak

Staff Writer

Keeping physically active is important for students, according to health educator Lisa Seely, and is the reason the SCSU wellness and fitness centers have collaborated on the first “Southern on the Move” fitness challenge.

“The goal of the program is just to get people moving,” said Seely, “just for people to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.”

Seely said the program has been going on for almost two years.

“This semester it just changed into what we’ve made as more of a fitness challenge,” said Seely.

“We’re trying to spruce things up and get more people involved.”

According to the fitness challenge Web site, the challenge ran from Feb. 4 through March 17, and consisted of two options. Those who registered for the program could choose goals of either 800 or 1,000 exercise points, which needed to be fulfilled within the six-week period.

Each point is equivalent to one minute of exercise, and participants were also able to gain bonus points for participating in planned events.

Jessica Scibek, fitness center coordinator, said she and some of her staff who helped to coordinate the event also participated to judge how difficult the goals were to reach.

“It’s not easy to get, you know, 167 minutes of exercise a week,” said Scibek, “but some people far exceeded their own goals.”

Scibek said a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise five times a week is recommended, and the 1,000-point goal exceeded that.

“Specifically, we focus on walking because it’s free, and it’s available pretty much to anyone who doesn’t have mobility challenges,” said Scibek.

Group walks took place every Thursday at noon in the Moore Fieldhouse and participants were given 10 bonus points for attending.

Scibek said they chose to schedule the walks on Thursdays at lunchtime, but it turned out most participants were not able to attend.

“We’re going to wait until the weather gets nice to do different times,” said Scibek, “because usually the fieldhouse is only open that one hour in the middle of the day.”

Seely said since it has been cold the walks have taken place inside the fieldhouse, but they will take place outside once it warms up.

“Normally if the weather is great we use the campus walking map,” said Seely, “and there is a one- or two-mile route already laid out.”

The walks, Seely said, were not the only way for participants to earn points.

“Most of it they were doing on their own time,” said Seely. “It could have been going to the gym, going for a hike, taking the dog for a walk, any type of physical activity.”

Scibek said the participants’ exercise tracker sheets were due March 22, and anyone who achieved their goal will be receiving free shirts.

Another fitness challenge, Scibek said, will probably take place before the end of the spring semester.

“We want to see how this goes, and then maybe we’ll do a different type of a challenge,” said Scibek.

“There’s lots of buildings on campus that have a lot of stairs, and stair climbing is a really good form of exercise, so maybe it will be like a stair climbing challenge.”

Information about any upcoming fitness challenges, including event dates and registration information, can be found at southernct.edu/onthemove.

With over 100 registered participants, Scibek said she is happy with how the challenge turned out.

“It was just nice to see a lot of people interested and willing to push themselves,” said Scibek.

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