BUIES CREEK -- In mid-January, a student told Campbell University sophomore Taylor Miskech in passing that she needed motivation to stick to her New Year’s Resolution to exercise every day. “It’s funny you mention that,” Miskech responded, “because Move Month is coming up.”
Move Month, Miskech explained, is a month-long exercise awareness campaign sponsored by Campbell’s Exercise Science Club being held throughout February. For the campaign, the club will host a variety of events designed to encourage students to get moving and to keep moving, she said. Some of the activities will include already-existent Campus Recreation program offerings, including Zumba and XFit, while other activities will be organized by members of the Exercise Science Club, including ultimate Frisbee, sand volleyball, soccer, basketball, and light jogs or walks around campus. The first 100 students to participate in at least five activities will receive a $5 gift card to Creek Coffee House.
“My hope is that other students who have lost the motivation to work out will start working out again and stay motivated to continue exercising after the month is over,” said Miskech, a kinesiology major and president-elect of the Exercise Science Club. “My other hope is that people who do not normally exercise will start doing so and incorporate it in their daily schedule.”
As part of Move Month, the club has also established a Facebook group where students can post their daily workout schedules, share positive messages to support each other, and connect with others who have common interests. “This gives those who are participating their own little active community,” said Campbell student Kelly Blevins, an exercise science major who brought the idea of the Move Month campaign to the Exercise Science Club.
Blevins is a former member of the Air Force, where she “gained a huge love and appreciation for overall health, fitness and well-being” and found her passion for exercise science, she said. Last summer, she and a group of friends established a challenge to run for 30 straight days. They used Facebook to stay connected with each other during the 30-day challenge.
When Blevins attended her first Exercise Science Club meeting last fall, she heard the other members talk about wanting to encourage their peers to get more active. When students begin college, Miskech said, it can be hard for them to find the time to incorporate exercise into their daily routines as they try to juggle classes, studying, work and extracurricular activities while adjusting to college. Miskech’s own exercise dropped off when began at Campbell, she said. “It’s easy for college students to become sedentary.”
But exercise is critical to both people’s physical and mental health, and “is a good stress releaser,” she added. She became intentional to incorporate exercise back into her daily life, and she and her fellow club members saw an opportunity to encourage other students. But how could they do that?
During a club meeting, Blevins mentioned the 30-day run challenge she did with her friends and the impact it had. “Together, as a group, we motivated, griped, groaned, praised and applauded one another, and together we get finished,” Blevins said. “What started out being a simple goal to fun for 30 days ended up being a lifestyle change.”
The club embraced the idea and from that came the Camel Challenge, which was first held last November. About two dozen students participated in the various physical activities the club sponsored over 30 days. They’re hoping for more student participation for Move Month, hence the gift-card incentive and name change. It kicked off Feb. 1, with a soccer game at Saylor, and there are nearly two-dozen other activities planned for the rest of the month.
“We really want people to know this is about getting more and more out of their daily lives by getting up and moving,” Blevins said. “Hopefully, that small amount of time set aside can grow and even spread to other healthier lifestyles changes. It’s our belief it only takes a month for something like this to become a part of your daily life.” -- Cherry Crayton, digital content coordinator