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Get active for the 2nd Annual Wellness Challenge

February 8, 2007

The 2nd Annual Wellness Challenge is getting students and faculty excited about physical activity and healthy living. Student Health Services is once again hosting the challenge.

The challenge is a four-week program, starting Feb. 5 and running through March 4. According to the Student Health Services’ Web page, the program encourages “healthier living through physical activity, nutrition, safety and overall wellness.” 

“[It’s a time for] college students to be sedentary,” Student Health Services Stacy Dekkers said of winter.

The program is a great way for students to get active and learn more about “overall wellness,” Dekkers said. 

The challenge consists of a set of incentive points based on a chart, located online through the Student Health Services’ Web site, which determines the amount of points earned based on different activities.

These points can be earned individually or through groups. There are several groups involved with the program, including all eight residential halls, South Fork Suites, off-campus students and faculty and staff academic buildings. 

At the end of each week, participants add their point totals and submit them online.  Prizes will be given to the top individual each week and the top team. A final prize will be presented to the first place team and highest-scoring individual. 

Because this is the 2nd Annual Wellness Challenge, some changes were made from last year to make this year’s challenge more appealing for students. The challenge is in February instead of April. The earlier program allows the event to have a new set of reasons to participate.

According to the flyer, reasons to participate are to “keep your New Year’s Resolution, feel and look good for spring break 2007, stay motivated to workout in the winter.”

“I am not as healthy as I would like to be and know I could be. So I see potential to develop new and healthier habits that would stick with me long after this activity is over,” participating freshman Alyse Good said. 

Good also said this is a great opportunity for students to teach themselves how to acquire healthier habits “that could impact their family, friends and even future generations.”

She said she enjoys the incentive point system because it gives people more reasons to be healthy and adopt overall wellness.

With students’ busy schedules, exercising and eating healthy is difficult, so awarding prizes allows students to have “something they can hold on to,” Good said. 

Prizes include pedometers, stress balls, Quizno’s Subs, Subway gift certificates, free passes to the YMCA, free semester passes to the Body Shop and the Strength and Conditioning Center and a $15 gift certificate to Laurie’s Day Spa. All the prizes are donated by individual businesses. The pedometers and stress balls were donated by Student Health Services. 

“It shouldn’t be just one month of the year. Fitness is part of your life,” said Jason Samens, last year’s challenge individual number five all time winner.

Samens is a senior who is actively involved with intramurals in order to keep himself as healthy as he can. 

In order to get involved and to obtain overall wellness one should “encourage someone to find someone to be active with for enjoyment,” Dekkers said.

She said that it is easier to be active if you have someone in your life that is also willing to be active, which makes exercising fun. 

Student Health Services gives great tips for healthier eating habits and physical activity pointers, which is an excellent place to start to obtain overall wellness.