Get out, get moving

Love it or hate it, getting physical on a regular basis is an important piece of your healthy lifestyle.

Ashley Bray

Every Tuesday and Thursday my phone beeps to alert me itâÄôs time. I dread this text. It consists of only three letters âÄî a single word that makes me want to bang my head against the wall. ItâÄôs from my best friend, and it says, âÄúGym?âÄù
If you havenâÄôt figured it out already, I despise going to the gym. I loathe cardio and find weight lifting to be completely monotonous. I donâÄôt want to run in a straight line going nowhere, and I would rather do handstands in the pool than swim laps over and over. Yet, despite my dislike for all things âÄúgym,âÄù I drag my butt to the St. Paul Gymnasium twice a week and plop myself onto whatever cardio machine I donâÄôt have to wait in line for.
Is participating in some sort of physical activity twice a week enough? Absolutely not. But itâÄôs a start, and I am not the only college student who needs to get it together and work out more.
Forget the ominous âÄúfreshman 15âÄù weâÄôre all already aware of. According to Boynton Health ServiceâÄôs 2010 College Student Health Survey, one in three University of Minnesota students falls in the overweight or obese category. If youâÄôve paid any attention to the news in the last few years, you know that these numbers reflect a nationwide trend in America.
I donâÄôt need to waste space here to talk about the dangers of living a sedentary lifestyle, but students should be aware that there are more options to help them get up and get moving than slaving away on a Recreation Center treadmill, and the University is trying to help.
Maybe itâÄôs obvious, but playing sports is one of the easiest and most fun ways to get moving.
The Department of Recreational Sports offers an abundance of opportunities to join an intramural or club sports team. Students can participate in a wide variety of activities from fencing to soccer or even synchronized swimming. If team mentality isnâÄôt really your thing, Rec Sports also offers several free workshops and classes that you can register for online. If youâÄôre really feeling like a big shot, you can even purchase your own personal trainer!
If you live in a residence hall or greek house, talking to your health advocate is great place to start. Health advocates are trained to help you figure out the right information to better your well-being. Throughout the month of February, the UniversityâÄôs health advocates came together to promote a challenge called, âÄúLetâÄôs Get Physical!âÄù where students in greek houses and residence halls recorded how much physical activity they participated in throughout the month.
According to Julia Sanem, community health coordinator at Boynton, the challenge was a success.
Both residence halls and greek houses recorded high participation rates âÄî Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity recorded more than 90 percent participation throughout the month, and Sanford Hall recorded 13.9 percent participation, âÄúwhich is great because they are so big,âÄù she said.
Sanem said one of the reasons this yearâÄôs health advocates chose a challenge that promoted physical activity was because Boynton does not currently have a student group that really does just that.
Another way to get physical and help others is to consider becoming a health advocate. Health advocates attend a weekly class and learn how to live a healthy lifestyle and help others do the same.
However you choose to get moving, find a way to make it enjoyable. Find an activity that fits your lifestyle and get out there. Your body will thank you for it.