MC calls for students to get active with Project 90
by Katie Stephens
Maryville College students lined up in the Bartlett Hall atrium on Friday Feb. 6 to pledge to the Project 90 Initiative. Students signed a large poster, currently hanging in Bartlett, in order to commit to the challenge.
According to Vice President and Dean of Students Vandy Kemp, Project 90 is a 90 day fitness initiative that challenges members of the MC community to pledge to exercise for at least 90 minutes a week. The challenge lasts for 90 days from February until April. The Wellness Task Force has set a goal to get 90 percent of students on campus to be enrolled in the initiative.
Faculty representative, Alexa Shutt, talked about the process in which the Wellness Task Force went through to formulate the concept of the initiative late last semester.
“The Wellness Task Force was trying to come up with a measurable way to encourage members of our campus to commit to being healthy.” Shutt said, “We thought this would be a feasible, accessible way to encourage all the members of the Maryville College community to be active.”
Kemp elaborated on the concept.
“We wanted something we could do to encourage people to exercise and that would leave them very little room for excuses,” Kemp said.
The Project 90 Initiative is a flexible exercise challenge that leaves it up to the participants when they work out and how they split up the time to reach the 90 minute goal.
“We wanted to make getting active just as easy as picking up that cookie off of the table,” Kemp said. She is also participating in the challenge. Other members of the Wellness Task Force are also participating such as Alesia Oren and Alexa Shutt.
There are several ways students can reach their weekly time on campus. Kemp suggested taking a walk from Bartlett Hall to the house in the woods, which is a mile walk to the house and back.
Bruce Guillaume and other members of the Mountain Challenge team have also incorporated several different activities that are open to anyone on campus. According to Guillaume, on Tuesdays there will be yoga from 7:00 am to 7:30 am and open climbing cave from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Wednesdays will include climbing cave and kettlebells from 3:15 to 4:00pm. Thursdays will also include an open climbing cave from 4:00pm to 5:30pm and tubing from 4:30pm to 5:00pm.
Other activities are also available to students. Soccer coach Pepe Fernandez is welcoming all students to come to his Insanity Fitness workout which will be held every week day in the Orange room of Cooper Athletic Center from 11:00am to noon. Yoga is also being held in the Alumni Gym on Thursday afternoons beginning at 12:30pm.
However, students do not have to rely just on the aforementioned events to get in their exercise. Mountain Challenge student employee and MC senior Emily Davis encourages students to check the Instagram page for quick fitness ideas that participants can complete on their own time.
“I believe that the most important aspect of Project 90 is the support that it offers students. MC Project 90 is on Facebook and Instagram, and students can follow both pages to find workouts for beginners, home workouts, and pictures of fellow students being active,” Davis said.
Alexa Shutt encourages students to not be overwhelmed by the 90 minute amount of time. Shutt suggested that students who do not regularly exercise, or have busy schedules, break up the time into increments as small as 15 minutes a day. If a student exercises 15 minutes a day for six days a week it will add up to 90 minutes. Shutt sees this as a good possible plan for those who are not currently active.
“I also recommend finding a friend to participate in the challenge with. Peer pressure can be positive or negative – if you have someone to help hold you accountable, you are likely to have more success,” Shutt said.
“We encourage everyone participating to set individual goals. Success for you may likely look totally different than success for your roommate.” Shutt said,” If you’re already active, you might use this as an opportunity to introduce a new type of activity to your routine. If you’re not currently active, we are hoping this is a supportive jump-start to increasing your activity.”
Kemp has high hopes for the challenge and looks to exceed the 90 percent enrollment goal. She stated that she plans on encouraging all athletes to enroll in the program. Kemp also has hopes to continue the challenge as an annual event for every spring semester.
“We want this to be an annual event we do every spring. We chose the spring so we can capitalize off the New Year’s resolution buzz, but aid people in keeping the pace going after the New Year’s fire dies down.” Kemp said.
There will be a survey at the end of the spring semester, according to Dean Kemp, asking students about their exercise habits. Dean Kemp hopes to get a 100 percent statistic that students exercise at least 90 minutes a week. She also hopes that the MC community will be very satisfied with Project 90 and will be inspired to have active lifestyles.
“We want to build fitness to change from a resolution, or a quick diet, into an everyday habit of a healthy lifestyle,” Kemp said.