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November 3, 2005

CUA On The Move

By Anne Cassidy

First in a series

 

It’s midday at CUA, and instead of grabbing a salad at the Pryz or downing a sandwich at their desks, some folks are shooting hoops, taking walks and practicing Tai Chi. Others are enrolling in a new campus Weight Watchers group or taking a swim in the Raymond A. DuFour Center pool. There are more health and fitness opportunities on campus than you might think — and, beginning this semester, a new program to get you up and moving.

 

CUA on the Move is a new campus initiative for faculty, staff and students based on the national program America On the Move, a physical activity and healthy eating program. Marie Kennedy, fitness director of the Eugene I. Kane Student Health and Fitness Center, is organizing CUA on the Move. Think of her as CUA’s fitness czar.
     

"If you don't move, you get fat," says Marie Kennedy, director of the Eugene I. Kane Student Health and Fitness Center.


 

“If you don’t move, you get fat. The average American gains one to two pounds a year,” Kennedy says. To combat the annual weight creep, CUA on the Move urges people to consume 100 fewer calories and add 2,000 steps (approximately a mile) to each day

 

Maria Green-Hawkins, manager of benefits at CUA, wants faculty and staff to take advantage of health and exercise opportunities on campus for their own sake, and also because a fitter, healthier work force costs less to insure. “If employees are in better shape and utilize wellness programs, our claims experience will be better,” she says. “This should help to keep medical premiums from rising drastically. When people exercise it helps the university.”

 

It isn’t hard to cut 100 calories from your daily menu, Kennedy says. Just forgo those two cookies after lunch or the big glob of cream cheese on your bagel. If you omit a small item every day of the week, the deprivation will be minimal, and you’ll stick with it.

 

As for adding exercise, fitness isn’t only about working out in the gym. Equally important is adding activity to your daily routine. Park at the far end of the lot or hand-deliver a package instead of using inter-office mail.

 

No StairMaster?  No problem. McMahon has 121 steps from the basement to the fourth floor, and climbing them burns at least 27 calories.

 

 “What about a walking meeting instead of one where you’re sitting down,” Kennedy suggests, “or a walking break instead of a coffee break?”

 

To help people walk a mile a day, Kennedy and student volunteers are mapping the approximate number of steps between major buildings on campus. Sample routes include 480 paces for the loop around the front of the law school and the back of the Pryz and 720 steps from the front of McMahon around the perimeter of its lawn past Gibbons, Keane, Shahan and back. (For more walks and step counts, see the January issue of “Inside CUA Online.”)

 

Lunch time is game time for (from left) CPIT's Mark Lawrence, fitness director Marie Kennedy, Purchasing's Rich Beaudoin, biomedical engineering Professor Binh Tran, CPIT's William Lantry and Public Safety's Marvin Dicks.

As for incentive, here’s what some of your colleagues are doing to stay fit: For the last six years, 10 to 12 faculty and staff members have met every Wednesday at noon for a pick-up basketball game at the DuFour Center gym.  It’s a casual, eclectic and welcoming group. “There are employees from Buildings and Grounds, Public Safety, Engineering and CPIT,” says Kennedy, who joins them whenever she can.

 

Marvin Dicks, a Public Safety officer, arrives early for his 2:30-to-11 p.m. shift so he can play basketball. Jim Gallamo, director of information systems and services at CPIT, gladly trades one lunch hour a week for the chance to play his favorite sport and see friends.

 

Jana Svejda, office manager for undergraduate programs in the School of Arts and Sciences, Minerva Haller, administrative assistant to the vice provost and dean for undergraduate studies, and Regina McDermott, coordinator for transfer evaluations, use their lunch hour to take a walk — rain or shine. From their McMahon Hall offices they stride across campus to Marist Hall, follow the service road behind Marist, take a left on Harewood Road, walk in front of the Basilica and then return to McMahon Hall.

 

There are other fitness opportunities on campus. Deborah Rejent, a clinical social worker in the Counseling Center, teaches a yoga class for students, faculty and staff Thursdays at noon in the student fitness center. Scott Mathews, assistant professor of electrical engineering and a 20-year practitioner of the martial arts, teaches a beginning Tai Chi class Mondays and Wednesdays at noon in the student fitness center and an intermediate class in Pangborn Hall Thursday evenings at 5 p.m.

 

Scott Mathews, assistant professor of electical engineering, demonstrates a Tai Chi move for a student.

“There are plenty of opportunities here to exercise,” says Jone Dowd, associate director of athletics, who founded the Lifetime Activities and Leisure Studies Program 20 years ago to promote dance and fitness. Faculty and staff are welcome to enroll in a Tae Kwon Do class Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m. or the Monday and Wednesday 8 a.m. fencing class. (Lifetime activity classes are $100 per semester.)

 

One of the most popular Lifetime Activities offerings is the group fitness class that meets on the second floor of the DuFour Center Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:10 to 1 p.m. Led by adjunct dance instructor Laurie Kaden, the 16-member core group of benders and stretchers range in age from their early 20s to their late 70s and have collectively burned hundreds of thousands of calories since they began working out together four years ago.

 

Kaden has seen members of the class lose weight, give up smoking and recover from surgery. “This is a strong group. If I say, ‘Do eight more,’ no matter how hard it is, they do eight more,” Kaden says.

 

Group fitness class devotee William Loewe, associate professor in the School of Theology and Religious Studies, says he makes it a point never to miss class. “I’m at the age where you use it or lose it,” Loewe says. And he’s decided to use it. For more inspiring fitness stories, see next month’s issue of “Inside CUA.”

 

To learn more about CUA on the Move, including exercise and diet tips, walking groups and other information, e-mail Marie Kennedy at kennedym@cua.edu.


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Last Revised 02-Nov-05 04:37 PM.