February 22, 2005 at 9:11 PM CST - Updated July 26 at 7:47 PM
Shape Up Southeast By: Wendy Ray
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO --What would make you want to work out? Would you do it if you were competing against a lot of other people? O
r would the chance of winning prizes make you exercise? That's the idea behind a Shape Up Southeast, a new program at Southeast Missouri State University. It encourages Southeast students, staff, and faculty to shape up and get healthy. They can go to the Rec Center to work out or just make changes to their daily routines. The idea is to group people into teams to motivate them to keep going.
Southeast senior Gina Junger is a familiar face at the Student Rec Center. Gina's really into working out. "I'm just concerned about staying in shape for the future," Gina says. "Diabetes runs in my family, so that's one of my major concerns." If that's not enough motivation, Gina now has more. She's a member of a Shape Up Southeast team. There are nine other people counting on Gina to work out regularly for ten weeks. Jenny Brune, who heads up the Shape Up Southeast program says, "There are three different levels, all the way from taking the stairs instead of the elevators to doing vigorous exercise." She says roughly 350 students, staff, and faculty voluntarily signed up for it to get in better shape. "Making it a team based program has added moral and increased camaraderie. It makes fitness pleasurable instead of feeling like you have to.
Here's how it works. Participants work out as much as they want to all week long. They log in what type of exercise they did and how long they did it. The amount of points you get depends on what you do. You submit your results at the end of the week for ten weeks. Brune says despite the friendly competition, it teaches everyone, especially students to think about their health. "This age and even younger is when you develop habits that will last a lifetime," Brune says.
Results are calculated after the ten weeks are up and prizes are given for those who do the best. Monday, February 21st was the first day participants logged in their work outs. Shape Up Southeast wraps up at the end of April.