By Yoshiki Kasai – Horizon News and Features Editor & Kendra Burkey – Horizon Advisor
The Hesston Wellness Center visitation records show 160 visits from Hesston College students in the second week of February. Some opt for the pool or the walking track, but most use the gym. Irene Mine is one of them.
“I decided to go to the gym and work out two or three times a week because I felt a lack of workouts,” said Mine, a sophomore. “Now I feel healthier than before!”
Feeling better is certainly an advantage of regular exercise. Unfortunately, according to instructor Jen LeFevre, students often fail to make fitness a part of their routine.
“Fitness is just seen as something that happens IF we have time rather than creating time for it,” she said.
But students aren’t alone in that mentality, LeFevre said. That’s why she’s organized a program called “Think 30,” a fitness incentive that challenges faculty and staff to engage in exercise for 30 minutes per day, five days per week. Twenty-five faculty and staff are currently participating in the activity.
“This incentive encourages people to think and plan their activity throughout the day and week,” LeFevre explained. “Each week they are successful, participants will be able to have their name submitted for prizes.”
The program costs 30 cents per week for seven weeks and an additional 30 cents for missed goals, which LeFevre calls “an investment in the activity.” It’s more about creating motivation than collecting a fee.
While LeFevre didn’t invite students to participate in “Think 30” this semester, she says they’re still making significant strides. In her nutrition class, students recently put together a “point of purchase” activity in the cafeteria. Posters and displays featuring nutritional content, serving sizes, recommended healthy options were used to educate and encourage those who went through the lunch line. Cautionary signage, like the bags of sugar posted near the soda dispensers showed students just what they consume when they choose pop over healthier drinks.
The nutrition class also met with food services and collected research and data from those who eat in the caf regularly.
“Our survey indicated that people really appreciate quick and easy advice in helping them make good choices,” LeFevre said. “For some people it is a good reminder, for others it is educational.”
LeFevre said students in other classes took notice.
“It was encouraging to see my Fitness Concepts students apply learning in class with the broader scope of the world around them,” she said.