Wellness Center offers mid-day walk program for students


Nimisha Singh

The Wellness Center hosts midday walks through many places like the Mt Hope Cemetery.

By Mary Kate Kiley, Staff writer

Busy schedules with class, work, organizations and other activities can make it hard for students to stay active. Fortunately, the University’s Wellness Center offers a mid-day walks program every Thursday at noon to help both students and staff achieve an active lifestyle.

The mid-day walks program is a 45-minute walk with various paths taken each week. The program leader, Michele Guerra, tried to make the walks different each week in order to keep participants curious and challenged.

By offering this program, the Wellness Center has created a more realistic way for students and staff to stay active while keeping on track with work and school.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for people to stay active. We wanted to make it more of a lifestyle physical activity,” Guerra said. “A lot of people will go to the gym but that doesn’t always work for everyone’s schedule.”

Implementing a unique walking schedule allows people to avoid a routine workout while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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    “The program is trying to encourage more movement in the day,” Guerra said. “It’s a fairly short walk, but people get to walk on lunch break and it’s a helpful thing to do on campus,” she said.

    Guerra also noted that students should consider the program because it’s something that works really well with people who have busy schedules.

    “For students who are busy, it may be hard to fit in structured exercise,” Guerra said. “The mid-day walks program is a nice thing to do in the middle of the day.”

    The walks are different each week to try and maintain interest of the participants. Although they are not too long, they have gone to a variety of places including Boneyard Creek, Mount Hope Cemetery, the retention pond and around the Main Quad.

    Participants have expressed to Guerra that they enjoy the program and the creativity she incorporates into the walks.

    “People like it quite a bit. The weather has been awesome. We’ve been lucky with the weather and people enjoy walking,” Guerra said. “The walks are interesting and its a nice social opportunity. It makes it a little more fun when you can connect with other people,” she said.

    Guerra also explained that some participants didn’t even know about the retention pond, so it was a new experience for some students to share. She said it’s a great chance for students to see what else is around on campus.

    “This week we’re doing walking game called a poker walk. The participants will loop the quad and collect cards each lap, and who ever has the best poker hand by the end of the walk will win a prize,” Guerra said.

    Some who know of the program, like Kennedy McKay, graduate in FAA, notice how it tries to stay creative and keep people active.

    McKay urges others to participate as well. 

    “I think it is beneficial if students know about it,” McKay said. “I actually work for campus rec at the ice arena and didn’t know about this particular program. I do think it’s a good idea to have an easy, low-key structured program encouraging people to get active, especially since we are sitting all day in class.”

    McKay puts in perspective how this program would be a good fit for students.

    “It seems like a fun and pretty simple and low-commitment way to get some activity in, especially with friends — and it’s free too,” McKay said.

    Others like Corie Baldwin, graduate in RST, noted that this program can help people prioritize their health.

    “I think it’s a great program,” Baldwin said. “It’s normal for students and faculty to be focused on their work and forget to take a moment for themselves. This mid-day walk will encourage people to take a break and step away from their work.”

    Baldwin also mentioned that this program can help students and staff stay on track and be held accountable.

    “By having it as a set program, it will keep people accountable to attend,” Baldwin said. “It is very easy to work straight through a personal planned workout or break, but when you know others are waiting for you or expecting you, you are more likely not to cancel and show up.”

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