Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
By Alida Reyes, Social Media Manager
The obesity problem in the United States continues to hike up scale. The latest report by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows over 34% of U.S adults, the equivalent of about 78.6 million, are obese or morbidly obese. This phenomenon, unfortunately, does not exclude the college population where year after year students struggle to build and maintain healthy habits.
The “Freshmen 15”, as it is commonly known, refers to the weight fluctuations faced by American students. Nationally, due to habitual changes and multiple stressors, the college population gains 5-7lbs on average. At a glance these figures seem less than alarming, but the continuation of this pattern could mean trouble beyond graduation.
In an attempt to fight against this phenomenon, Sarah Wolcott, Assistant Director of Athletics for Wellness and Head Soccer Coach, introduced Commit to Fit, a fitness program that seeks to motivate students, faculty and staff to become more proactive about their health. The program consists of a series of fitness challenges where the participants must master one challenge before moving along to the next.
Wolcott had used a similar program at another institution and its massive success prompted her to tailor it for the Cedar Crest community.
“It is important that people see we are not running drill sergeant type of events. These type of programs bring the fun to fitness and you don’t have to compete against anyone but yourself!” Wolcott explained.
Currently running through December 8th, the fitness series 50 States in 50 Days has a reported participation of nearly 100 people. This is a rough estimation, as it does not account for those who are going through the series but did not officially sign up.
“It [the wellness center] is light years from what it used to be,” said Greg Vossler, Head Swimming Coach and participant of the 50 States in 50 Days series. “I’ve seen it go from an empty gym most of the day to being busy 24/7.”
Faculty and student involvement is at an all time high. The program gives coaches room to push their team physically and track their progress without being in the same room.
“I don’t always get to train with the team. This allows me to workout with them and push them a little harder than if I was coaching them,” Vossler continued.
The program will continue to run into next semester with a 3-part fitness challenge that will run through the course of the spring semester and will finish with an Ironman competition. In addition to committing to a fitter lifestyle, completing the challenges give students the opportunity to enter a raffle for different prizes.