A Look Back
I started the In Step For Life program in mid-September. I started it because I was interested in the health benefits. My goal was to walk 10,000 steps a day. During the first few weeks, I found myself walking only about 7,000. However, as I became more active and social on and off campus, I started accomplishing my goal. I walked Sligo Creek Park every morning and went to dance practice in the evenings. The more I walked and exercised, the better I felt. I slept better, I concentrated on my work, I lost weight, and I hardly got sick. Many of my friends didn’t bother participating in the program because it was just another thing to do. But just the fact that the pedometer was on me all day motivated me to be more active. I found myself taking the stairs instead of the elevator and wanting to explore different parks. I even took it with me on holidays and vacations. In total I have walked more then 600,000 steps. This program is a real motivator and is truly rewarding. I definitely encourage students to get involved next semester.
-written by Arielle LaGuerre
Join A Gym
For the upcoming New Year, almost everyone sets some kind of goal. We make resolutions to do better in school, be a better people, and drop a few pounds. Losing weight and getting fit were both top ten resolutions on America’s goals for 2009.
A great way to start fulfilling those goals is to join a gym. Even though it’s a great idea to simply exercise outside, having a gym membership comes with many benefits. One benefit is that no matter what the weather, if you can make it to the gym, you can exercise. If it rains or snows, outdoor exercise is out, but you can still work out in the gym.
Another benefit is that working out in a gym is a lot safer. You don’t have to worry about stray dogs attacking you or someone trying to hurt you in the closed environment of a gym.
Working out at a gym can be better for motivation for two reasons. One, you will see other people working out towards the same goal, which can help inspire you. Second, gym memberships aren’t free. They cost money. And when you know you’re spending money on something, you’ll want to get your money’s worth.
Getting started at a gym is easy. Look up some of the local gyms in your area online or in a phone book. Then, visit them to see which one is right for you. If you start in January, most gyms offer special prices for those who made joining their gym a New Year’s resolution. If you begin later in the year, check for specials or try to work out a deal. Keep the cost low, and know that you are making a good investment in your health. It’s a step closer to a healthier you.
-written by Keisha Tulloch
You know that saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”? Well, it’s true. Today, we take walking for granted in many different ways. About a month ago, I broke and dislocated my second metatarsal on my left foot. This left me unable to put any weight on that foot as well as needing surgery. Something so simple that we do it everyday suddenly became an activity that I was no longer able to do.
It’s amazing just how much walking someone does in one day. From the moment you wake up until the minute you fall asleep, walking is an essential part of your day. It gets you out of bed in the morning, takes you to work, school, lunch, etc. It’s a basic, everyday thing that people always overlook.
In the world, there are many people that, due to various reasons, are unable to walk. Perhaps, like me, they broke their foot and can’t walk for a few weeks. Maybe a tragic event has happened leaving them without the ability to walk. So next time you go walking and decide to complain about it, remember that somewhere in the world, there is someone who can’t walk, and would give anything to be able to.
- written by William Ryan Jackson
For Arielle’s walk, we walked around DuPont circle. Arielle stated that it is very city-like and was different from the other trails that she would walk. However, she loved the trail. There were many stores and people to see. All of the attractions in DuPont circle made the walking a breeze. She walked over 5,000 steps that afternoon and she thought it was great. She states that since she has been walking, she has been losing weight. She has also been sleeping better and has not been getting sick recently. Walking also helped her mood in a positive way. When she walks in the morning at Sligo Park, she feels boosted, happy, and motivated. She feels that the In Step For Life program is helping her body and health. And, in the words of Arielle, “The little pedometer is such a motivator”.
- written by Candace Smith
WAU Students Walk for Community’s Homeless
The Silver Spring Interfaith Housing Coalition (SSIHC) held its annual Walk for the Homeless at Sligo Dennis recreation center on November 8, 2009. This event fundraises for programs that assist the homeless. The walk is also designed to raise awareness of homelessness in the community, and educate the people about this faction of society.
Many members of the community were in attendance, including more than 50 students and staff from Washington Adventist University. The event began with people from the Coalition speaking about homelessness and sharing some statistics about homeless people in the U.S. The speakers also wanted to emphasize the point that homelessness could happen to anyone, in a very short period of time.
Two WAU sophomores, Jonathan Uribe and Joel Mercado were very glad that they decided to go. Uribe said they went “to be charitable, Joel and I were walking by the signup table and decided to do it because we normally don’t do stuff like this.”
Mercado enjoyed being with all the other people there, and said he would go again next year. He felt good doing something to support the homeless. “If I was ever in a situation like the homeless, I would want people showing support like this.”
The two WAU students also wanted everyone who did not go to know that they missed out on a good time. The SSIHC puts on a couple fundraisers a year in the community, and encourage everyone to come out and support, especially people who never have before. Like Joel said, “You never know what you might learn about your community and the people living around you. It can be a very eye-opening experience.”
To find out more about homelessness in your community and what you can do about it, visit www.ssihc.org.
Shoes: the perfect walking partners
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to do. You just get up and walk. Like the song says, “Just put one foot in front of the other!”.
To walk, you don’t need any technical equipment or set up instructions. However, it is probably a good idea to have shoes. Not just any kind of shoes, like flip flops or boots, but walking shoes. You need shoes that best fit your foot type. But how can you choose a shoe that would best fit your feet? The website http://www.medicinenet.com/walking/page4.htm#toch has some good tips on choosing the best fit for your feet. They say:
"If you over pronate and have flat feet, avoid shoes with excessive cushioning because they lack stability and motion control. Shoes that feel as soft as bedroom slippers, lack support, or are excessively bouncy are not a good choice for over-pronators. Instead, purchase shoes with firm midsoles and pronation-control features. I also recommend over-the-counter full-length arch supports for over-pronators. They can decrease pressure by as much as 33%. Powerfeet and Superfeet full-length insoles are two good choices and can be located online.
If you supinate and have high arches, purchase cushioned shoes that do not limit motion. Your foot doesn’t shock absorb very well if you have high arches and you supinate, and too much stability and control in the shoe will decrease shock absorption even more.
If you have a neutral foot, you can wear any type of shoe that feels comfortable. Your foot strike is efficient with a healthy amount of arch support and shock absorption when your foot is neutral.”
You can use these tips the next time you go to your local shoe store. Also, visit places like Foot Locker where they have people who really know about shoes. They can help you find the perfect fit.
Light The Night
Did you know that walking can help cure cancer? In a way, it can. On Saturday, October 17, in Downtown Washington, D.C. even with the rain, the streets were alight with lighted balloons. The occasion was Light the Night 2009.
The Light the Night walk is The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s nationwide evening walk to build awareness of cancer and raise money to help fund research for cures. It takes place in many cities all across the United States and Canada. Participants carry balloons of different color, each color representing a different thing. White balloons are for cancer survivors, red is for supporters, and gold is for people walking in memory of a loved one lost to cancer.
Last year, Light the Night raised over 38 billion dollars, 2 billion of that alone coming from the Washington, D.C area. Hosted this year by CBS with free food from Hard Times Cafe, Light the Night had a huge turnout and had hopes of raising more money than last year, despite the rain.
Light the Night is only one type of walking fundraiser. Throughout D.C. there are many different fundraisers that involve walking. Last Saturday, D.C. hosted the Walk for Autism, which, like Light the Night, is a walk to raise money to find a cure for autism. If you are interested in programs like these, the links below might be very informative and helpful.
- written by William Ryan Jackson