Wellness program encourages students to run
After five minutes of sitting on the Set, 29 out of 40 people walking through could be classified as overweight or obese.
In the Orange Room, more students stand in line for WOW instead of the Magic Johnson Sub Connection. In the cafeteria, more students choose pizza and burgers than salads and stir-fry. In the bottom cafe, students line up for WOW or Pizza Hut rather than Tropical Smoothie.
One place on campus students are not lining up for is the campus recreation center.
According to the Office of Minority Health, almost 70 percent of adults in the African-American community ages 20 and over are overweight or obese. As these percentages rise, health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes also rise in the black community.
These trends are apparent as Student Health Services treats students, who suffer from being overweight or obese, on a daily basis.
Florida A&M’s Student Health Service’s Rattler Wellness program is collaborating with Nubian Wellness to address the issue by encouraging students, faculty and staff to participate in Run With Me, a nationwide initiative to promote physical activity in the black community.
Run With Me participants must pledge to participate in a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or marathon of their choosing – either by walking, jogging or running – between now and December 31.
Participants are to find a race in their local city. Individuals are not required to run; walking or jogging is permissible.
Medical professionals say it is important to find a race that best fits one’s physical needs. Those who finish their race are eligible to win prizes. Prizes include wireless activity trackers, wireless headphones, gift certificates to sporting stores and more.
Kimi Walker, a health services educator, said she wants Run With Me to “give people attainable goals to train for that don’t necessarily revolve around the scales.” These goals could be dropping a dress size, being able to run a mile under 15 minutes or working out at least three times a week.
Walker said Run With Me differs from other nationwide running initiatives because other initiatives usually focus only on black women.
“Run With Me is all focused on women and men of color, Walker said.”
Run With Me aims to become a maintainable initiative on HBCU campuses and surrounding communities.
Participants will receive tips on such things as which shoes and clothes to wear while working out, how to train without getting hurt, which food to eat and so on. Running coach Randy Henley is one of many experts leading workshops, which will be supplemented by online tips and information. He said, “Discussions will not only include educational but motivational messages, too.”
Rattler Wellness nutritionist Brian Ringpfiel said there are many things to remember prior to running. He said participants should drink adequate fluids throughout the day of the event.
“For all types of physical activity, aim to eat a small, balanced meal two to four hours before you exercise,” Ringpfiel said.
He also noted to avoid gulping large amounts of water at a time.
“This may cause bloating that can slow you down or cause stomach cramps,” Ringpfiel said. “Aim for one-half cup fluid every 20 minutes during exercise.”
Prior to starting the program, check with a medical professional. For more information or to sign up to make a pledge for Run With Me.