Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter –
The Southern Fitness Center’s fourth annual All-Star Fitness Challenge is currently underway this week. The five week challenge is an opportunity for the Southern community to get into an exercise and healthy eating routine.
“The main goal of the challenge is to get our student body active,” Fitness Center Graduate Intern Allison Blacker said.
Blacker said the Fitness Center wants all Southern students to reach the general recommendation of the suggested amount of exercise people should be getting.
Fitness Center Coordinator Jessica Scibek said the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Surgeon General recommend 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week. The Fitness Challenge is a five week program to help students to either start or continue a healthy habit of exercise and has a range of goals. Participants are given the option of accumulating 750, 1500, or 2000 points over the five week period.
Scibek said the Fitness Center did that so the challenge is fair to all varying levels of prior exercise experience. Scibek said participants can earn points in various ways.
“You earn a point for each minute of exercise, you earn points by meeting some healthy eating goals, and you can earn points by attending an educational event,” she said. “Everyone starts their journey towards being physically active in different stages, so no matter what stage you’re in, there are options for you to be successful.”
Blacker said the Fitness Center wants students to take away from the five week challenge the various physical fitness and wellness that should be a focus on a regular basis rather than just individually and sporadically.
Students who are partaking in the challenge use a printed out tracking sheet to accumulate their daily and weekly achievements. Blacker said in addition to the exercise and healthy goals each week has a “focus.”
“For each week on the tracking sheet we have what the goal is,” Blacker said, “and we also have how many bonus points you get for meeting that goal.”
Blacker said the Fitness Center is hoping to make it easier and create a better opportunity for participants to reach their overall chosen point goal. Those that partake in the challenge are in charge of keeping track of their progress and Scibek and Blacker both said honesty is important in the challenge.
“If they’re not honest, they’re only cheating themselves,” Scibek said. “When you work out in a moderate intensity you don’t over do it, you don’t under do it, and it’s when you get the most benefit. You’re going to have better sleep, reduce your stress, feel more energy, and you’re going to get stronger. Whereas if you write down that you did all that stuff but didn’t actually do it, you might earn a t-shirt but you’re going to lose out.”
The Fitness Challenge is not open to just Fitness Center members, Scibek said participants can join the gym if they like by signing up for sixty dollars, but they can work out in their room, the Moore Field House, or a gym they currently have membership to.
Blacker said that the Fitness Center really likes what the challenge provides Southern students.
“Not only are we giving them this opportunity to track their physical activity and the realization that ‘Hey, I can fit this into my day,’ and the free t-shirt,” Blacker said, “but also on the back burner we’re teaching them how they can make an exercise program that fits and is fun for their lifestyle.”
The SCSU Fitness Center All-Star FitnessChallenge runs from Jan. 30 through March 5.
Scibek and Blacker were both excited by the prospect of the challenge enriching students’ health and exercise education.
“Hopefully by the end of the five weeks,” Blacker said, “they’ll have a well-rounded wellness approach to their exercise program.”