Take Time Tuesdays Helps Students Stay Active
College is a transitional time, when students, especially first-years, are in a new environment and often face immense pressure to study and do well in classes. Since students’ focus is often not on exercise, they may be less likely to take part in physical activity than they were in high school or will be after college.
Keene State is helping to address the problem with Take Time Tuesdays @5pm, a weekly program that promotes the importance of physical activity as well as health and wellness options and resources available to students.
The schedule of activities that range from volleyball to a local hike and bike ride is posted on the Keene State Center for Health and Wellness Facebook page.
“We know that some of our students who come to campus had been very physically active prior to coming here,” said Tiffany Mathews, the College’s Coordinator of Wellness Education. “While some might play on intercollegiate teams or take part intramurals or rec sports, others might be trying to figure out what they might be interested in to stay physically active.”
The idea for Take Time Tuesdays came from senior Ali Fitzgerald, one of five health science practicum students working with the Center for Health and Wellness. Fitzgerald, a health science major from Goshen, Massachusetts, who has worked with freshmen as a residence assistant and orientation leader the past two years, wanted to do something for students that aligned with her major.
The program encourages students to remain physically active by eliminating some of the barriers that come with exercising on campus, including the stigma of going to the gym alone or being unfamiliar with the equipment. Finding like-minded students interested in the same activities should foster more involvement and help make physical activity a part of a students’ routine.
The importance of exercise is nothing new. Getting regular physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your health and could also help students better deal with stress and improve their performance in the classroom. According to a study done at Purdue University, students who worked out at Purdue’s gym at least once a week were more likely to earn a higher grade point average than students who visited less or not at all. Mathews points out Keene State students are slightly ahead of the averages compiled in the fall 2015 study by the American College Health Association that monitored moderate and vigorous activity of college students nationally.
Both Mathews and Fitzgerald hope the program will be not only be successful for students while at Keene State, but also help promote the benefits of physical activity as a lifelong routine. So far the signs are encouraging. “I’m getting a lot of positive feedback,” said Fitzgerald.