Walking for wellness

Jack Heneghan, Staff Reporter

Working out can be difficult in college. Students are so busy that many often cannot find the time. Case Western Reserve University Wellness is trying to urge more students to exercise during the month of October with a 31-day walking challenge which kicked off at noon on Oct. 1 with the One to One Fitness Walking Club.

The goal of the program is for students to walk 10,000 steps per day, 250,000 steps in the whole month or excerise for 1,000 minutes, which works out to be about 32 minutes per day.  Students can download a log from the University Wellness website and fill it out each week for a chance to win different prizes.

Even if participants fail to meet the daily goals, anyone who simply submits their logs to the Wellness Center is eligible for prizes. Those who reach 250,000 steps at the end of the month can turn in their logs for the chance to win a grand prize.

First-year student Lily Trancat values the efforts on campus which encourage people to walk more frequently. She, like many students, considers exercise to be an important activity and uses the walking she does around campus as her daily exercise.

Trancat added that she would “love to go to the gym more often, but just can’t find the time.”

To help people reach their walking goals, CWRU Wellness has published a calendar with opportunities throughout the month to walk with a group.  A farm hike on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farm, for example, and another opportunity on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. starting at the Adelbert Hall steps, are intended to help students explore new places with new people in the name of physical activity. For those looking for regular activity as opposed to isolated events, Wellness Walks take place every Thursday at 5:15 p.m. and the One to One Walking Club meets at noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays outside of the One to One Fitness Center.

The One to One Walking Club is an opportunity for CWRU students, staff and the general public to get out, walk and enjoy Cleveland. Tangela Scott, One to One Fitness’ Program and Personal Training Manager, said she feels the activity is a good way to meet people, and that she and “an average of about 15 walkers” walk and talk at their own pace each time. Scott went on to describe the club as “one of the best-kept, free secrets on this campus.”

Scott says that since bodies are meant to move, sitting all day can be bad for long-term muscle growth. She suggests walking at least three times a week, the same number of times a week One to One Walking Club meets, for the sake of heart health. She also thinks that group walking is good for accountability and that socialization is a good way to improve mood.

Scott’s number one tip for busy people struggling to stay fit is to “make time.” That can mean getting up early like Scott, who sometimes wakes up as early as 4 a.m., or simply squeezing in exercise throughout the day, like choosing to walk a little more often.  

Maxwell Qiu, also a first-year student, echoes this struggle, stating, “I don’t have the time between my clubs and homework to go to the gym on a frequent and regular basis.”

Qiu does, however, employ the group work out method by participating in Club Badminton, which, just like a walking group, is a good alternative to working out alone.

This program is designed to cater to students because walking to class is normally a given, so by focusing on feasible and convenient means as a primary source of exercise is something that is more realistic than putting aside a lot of time to rigorously exercise each day.