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Bereans Get Moving to Get Fit

Kicking off its third year at Berea College, the “Get Moving Berea” program encourages teams and individuals to walk, jog and exercise for a healthier body. Beginning September 18, participants received free pedometers to tally their walking steps during their work days and evenings. At the program’s conclusion in November, individuals and teams will be awarded for the most steps with cash or gift prizes.

“Get Moving Berea College” was inspired by the local “Get Moving Madison County” program, a partner of the statewide “Get Moving Kentucky” plan, an initiative to reduce obesity. In the fall of 2004, Kris Wright, a professor of health education at Berea College, was credited for the proposed “Get Moving” program. Approval for the program was lead by Berea’s physical education department, the wellness committee and other organizations involved in promoting healthy living on campus.

That fall of the same year, “Get Moving Berea College” kicked off with 74 faculty and 144 students participating, but grew quickly to 672 participants in 2005. Through the help of students and staff, a stronger and more organized program was formed. In 2005, a whopping 91,420,211 steps were counted, equaling more than 193,000 miles of walking.

According to DeLasea Sloan, a student coordinator for “Get Moving Berea,” said “People kept counting their steps long after the program had ended and also pushed themselves harder to be healthier.” Sloan also notes that “Get Moving” has changed since its conception. Changes include giving people the ability to participate as an individual, allowing retirees of the college and spouses to join, allowing participants to enter their own steps automatically and permitting a mixture of faculty and student teams.

President Shinn and his wife Nancy will also be participating in this year’s program. Mrs. Shinn, a repeat participant in “Get Moving Berea,” and her husband President Shinn are both working towards a more active and healthier lifestyle. President Shinn explains why he has decided this year to “get moving” saying, “The reason I am participating is to be healthier and to put my body where my mouth has been as I have encouraged a healthier workforce at Berea College.” Nancy also explained why she has decided to put on the pedometer, saying, “I found that wearing a pedometer and keeping track of my steps were both positive influences on my physical activity. There was no way to "hide my head in the sand"--I knew exactly how much exercise I was (or was not) getting each day.”

The President and his wife exercise regularly, but President Shinn admits it can be tempting to sleep in some mornings and applauds his wife for keeping him motivated. “The more I exercise the better I feel, the more energy I have and the less I feel the stress of my work. All of us should exercise for ourselves and our families,” says President Shinn.

In the coming weeks, participants will challenge their body’s endurance and strength to achieve a healthier body and mind.

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