Creating walks to promote movement, health and friends

Donte’ Hemmans-Murdock, Reporter

At SUNY Buffalo State, there are campus walks that are held every Monday at 11 a.m. and Friday at noon. These group walks were constructed to get people off of their feet and become physically active by taking a walk around campus.

At the beginning of the fall 2016 semester, Weigel Health Center Director Dr. Theresa Stephan Hains and Sarah Martin collaborated to find new ways to promote healthy habits on campus after the idea was introduced by Martin from the Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo. Her idea has resulted in a new fitness and walking program for all students at Buffalo State.

“We started brainstorming, and this is what we have come up with so far. We wanted to accomplish a few things getting people physically active, providing a safe and welcoming space for students, faculty, staff to mingle, and offering a short escape from our daily stresses. Walking has so many benefits physical, mental, and psychological,” Martin said. “I am interested in how the built environment around us promotes movement and health, so this has also been a wonderful learning opportunity. Mostly, I just want our walkers to enjoy the time they spend with us.”

In order to keep people engaged with the walks, “Let’s Move BSC” does their best to walk different routes. This is a clever way to not only keep the people that are already involved with the program engaged, but to also draw attention to bystanders so they too can begin to question why are groups of people walking around campus.

“Sometimes we loop around campus; sometimes we take the bike/ped trail along Elmwood and Forest. Sometimes we go by the Albright-Knox and into Delaware Park. I’m always looking for new attractions to walk to,” Martin said.

Since “Let’s Move BSC” is a new program, they are still working on different types of events and more ways to add bulk to their program. At the moment, there is only one leader for the walks (Martin), but the program is still looking for new people to add more depth and circulate new ideas.

“I am the only one leading walks at the moment,” Martin said. “I have support and resources from Weigel and from Health Promotions, but I plan and lead the walks myself. I have been gradually connecting with people on campus- staff, faculty, and students who are interested in the program and want to help. It is nice to find those people and know that there is enough interest to grow the program.

“This semester we have really focused on simple walks, twice a week, as sort of a pilot program. Next semester I would like to expand the program to include more walks, plus other fun events like maybe a walk-a-thon or dance party. We have had positive feedback from those attending the walks, so I think there is definitely campus support for more events.”

Make sure to stop by the Weigel Health Center on Mondays at 11a.m. and on Fridays at noon to participate in the health-orientated campus walks. To keep track of upcoming events, like their Facebook page, Let’s Move BSC.

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