Wildcats make room for a challenge

Braden Smith – Culture editor. Many students may wonder how to get into shape in college but not know how to fit health and exercise into their busy schedules. As of Oct. 4, a new health and fitness program, the Wildcat Fitness Challenge, provide a solution.
The eight-week competitive training program aims to better the Linfield community through exercise and health and to unite students and faculty, senior Sami Easterly, the program adviser, said.
The program, which includes the entire Linfield community, involves taking multiple certified fitness tests and examining how much individuals or teams of four improve throughout the eight weeks in the point of competition.
All participants also have optional weekly meetings, where they will receive tips and learn workout techniques from professionals. Workouts to be demonstrated include weight training, water aerobics and Zumba.
Easterly said she hopes that incorporating fitness exercises into the program will encourage members to find a certain exercise they particularly like and pursue it on their own. She also said that the choices will encourage people who only run or lift weights to try new things.
“‘Fit’ is a small word but has a broad definition,” she said.
Participants are expected to exercise and try to improve on their own time, with the weekly meeting serving to encourage progress.
The individuals and teams that show the most improvement on their fitness tests will be awarded prizes. Because improvement is the key measurement, rather than performing better than everyone else, everyone has an equal chance to win.
While Easterly is still gathering prizes, one person or group will receive a $25 ATM card from Key Bank as a reward.
Easterly said that more than 20 people have signed up so far, many as teams. Even some faculty members are involved. She expects more people to join in.
She said lots of females have signed up but encourages anyone who is interested to participate so he or she can meet his or her fitness goals.
She also noted that the program is flexible and allows members to work on their own time and set their own schedule.
In addition to improving fitness and encouraging healthy habits, Easterly emphasized that the program will establish new relationships within the Linfield community and unite students and faculty through exercise and competion.
“Learning how to exercise unites people,” she said.
Easterly said she hopes people will develop better habits on their own so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle without the help and encouragement of a fitness program.
She began the program with the help of senior Cori Simmons, junior Maura Riley and Associate Professor of Health and Human Perfomance and Director of Exercise Physiology lab Janet Peterson, as a culminating project for her exercise science major.
She also hopes the program will be popular enough to continue on in future years.
Students and faculty have until 6 p.m. Oct. 12 to sign up and take an initial fitness test.
If you’re looking to live a healthier life and meet new people, sign up before it’s too late.
If you have any questions, you can e-mail Easterly at seaster@linfield.edu.

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