Physical fitness on campus

The Healthiest State Walk is in its third year and has had an estimated 300,000 participants across the state. Participants of the walk were able to choose one of nine 1-K (.62 mile) routes on the Iowa State campus.

ISU students might think they hardly have any time at all to be physically active with midterm exams, homework and various other activities, but ExerCYse strives to show students that this isn’t always the case.

ExerCYse, a kinesiology program at Iowa State, is part of a nationwide global initiative to show how health can play a positive role in people’s lives.

“A lot of people feel like they don’t have enough time to exercise,” said Karissa Peyer, graduate student in kinesiology. “But every little bit helps.”

Peyer is a student ambassador with the ExerCYse program along with 200 other kinesiology students.

ExerCYse has started a number of initiatives, including one called TrekDesk that allows faculty and students to work while walking on a treadmill. The initiative was specifically designed for people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk, reading textbooks or lead sedentary lifestyles. The organization aims to help these people spend less time desk-bound and more time being physically active.

ExerCYse has TrekDesks located in buildings all over campus, including in the bowling alley of the Memorial Union. They are currently open for all students to use.

Another effort ExerCYse helped coordinate was the Healthiest State Walk. This walk, which took place on Oct. 9, had more than 298,000 participants.

The students involved in ExerCYse helped promote the program and were in charge of chalking the course.

Liz Cox, the project manager of Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative, said: “The main purpose of the walk was to get people outside and be active. Secondarily, we wanted those people to connect so they can do other things in their community to make themselves healthier.”

The walk also celebrated how Iowa has moved up from being the 19th healthiest state in the nation in 2011, to the ninth healthiest today.

Cox said this was an opportunity to remind people that the state is making progress, but there is still work to do.

Participants of the walk were asked to walk a minimum of 1 kilometer, which can be described as a 10 or 12 minute brisk walk.

“We couldn’t have done any of this without the help of the people in the community,” Cox said. “And college students are a big part of that.”

Peyer recommends that students try out different activities that involve physical fitness in order to find one that appeals to them. She also mentioned that looking for a support system can have its benefits as well.

“Find someone to commit to exercising with you,” Peyer said. “A lot of people will stick to exercising if they know they have someone to do it with.”

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