President joins students, faculty on walk to promote healthy lifestyles

Reporter and Reporter

Wednesday was National Start! Walking Day, and University President Mary Ellen Mazey joined students, faculty and staff on a 30 minute walk around campus.

The walk took participants on a round-trip hike around campus, which began and ended at the Education Building. It was organized by the Department of Recreation and Wellness and was in conjunction with the American Heart Association.

The event was a way to help people start and sustain a physical activity program, said Karyn Smith, the event’s organizer and health educator at the Wellness Connection.

Anything we can do to be healthier on our lunch hour is good, Mazey said.

“I read that every hour you walk you add 15 minutes to your life,” Mazey said, adding that’s good for her because she has been walking for a long time.

Senior Ann Fletcher completed the walk and said she was there to fill a school-related community event, and since she was a transfer it provided her the opportunity to see more of the campus. She also said it would be cool to walk with the president.

Junior Brooklynn Martinez was invited to the walk last-minute and said it was only a half hour and she was glad she did it.

The Environmental Action Group also joined the walk carrying signs and posters promoting clean energy.

The campus organization’s 100 percent clean energy agenda was recently rejected by Mazey, who said the group’s proposal was not realistic enough and needed further research, The BG News reported in March.

Brooke Scarborough, media coordinator for the group, said they were in attendance to show President Mazey they are not giving up and that clean energy is important to the University.

Both Smith and Martinez took no issue with the group’s presence.

“It was a surprise, but hey, they supported the walk so they were promoting a healthy, active lifestyle,” Smith said.

Organizers hosted a raffle and handed out prizes after the walk was completed.

Prizes included resistance bands, iTunes gift cards, a Subway gift card, a pedometer and a water bottle. Like the event itself, these prizes were handed out with the intent to help people sustain a healthy lifestyle, Smith said.

Participants were also given handouts that included a walking calendar and walking and running path links from www.startwalkingnow.org. The paths go across the University and range from one mile to 10 miles.

It was good to see people come out and support the walk, despite the chilly wind, Smith said.