By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant
“It gave me energy” and “it kept me on track” were just some of the accolades given by participants about the fourth annual Spartan Wellness Challenge at the closing awards ceremony held in the Campus Village quad April 20.
Well U, the employee wellness program, teamed up with AS Campus Recreation, Wellness & Health Promotion and the HR diversity program to encourage participants to maintain a healthy diet, be physically active, and keep up with day-to-day general wellness.
“The main focus was trying to make people more aware of what they are doing in their lives to make them healthier,” Fitness Coordinator Christina Maino said.
Over 130 students, faculty and staff members earned points in teams of four for healthy choices such as replacing fruit juice with a whole piece of fruit, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and spending quality time with friends and family.
Teams earned additional points for attending seminars, activities and fitness challenges throughout the six-week course.
Activities included stress-management and healthy body image seminars, a virtual climb of Mt. Aconcagua, and Dance Around the World, a series of workshops that taught Bhangra, Tahitian, Tinikling and Folklorico dances.
“I feel like all of the faculty and staff are coming out of their shells and want to participate,” Maino said. “It’s great to have more people that want to better their health.”
To fulfill a growing demand for student interest in the program, Housing Services sponsored 10 student teams this year.
“It’s about awareness and taking good care of yourself all through college,” Residential Life Coordinator Amanda Dohse said.
At Friday’s celebration, “Phoenix 12” was awarded the top team with an overall score of 1,624 points. Awards were also given out for top female, top male, and team fitness challenge winners.
For Well U Coordinator Julie Inouye Wong, the most rewarding aspects of the program were team motivation and helping to organize the event.
“It is our way of showing the campus community that we value their health and wellness,” Wong said.