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October declared Exercise is Medicine Month

treadmill test

At Illinois State University, October has been named Exercise is Medicine month in hopes to promote a fit, active lifestyle campuswide. The University has multiple activities available to students and faculty to encourage their fitness goals, monitor their progress or get individuals who have not been to a gym in a while to return.

Illinois State University’s Health Promotion and Wellness director, Nikki Brauer, says each person’s overall wellness is greatly affected by physical activity. “One of the ways in which physical activity impacts overall well-being is by helping to reduce stress,” Brauer said. “Stress will tend to manifest physically and activity has proven to reduce cortisol levels in the body. This makes us more resilient and better able to manage stressors when they come our way.”

In order to manage stress levels, Brauer mentions how important it is for everyone to be physically active. Therefore, the best way to make time for it is to schedule it as a priority on a weekly calendar. “Taking stairs, walking across campus to class and meetings, and using restrooms on other floors of your building are also excellent ways to receive some bonus activity,” Brauer said.

Kristen Lagally, professor in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation, states there will be free fitness assessments on Fridays in the McCormick Exercise Physiology laboratory between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Some of the assessments that have been done include body composition and muscular fitness. The final two fitness assessments are as follows:

October 16: Cardiovascular Fitness

October 23: Flexibility

One of the most important thoughts to remember throughout this physically active month comes from Lagally: “Go out for a walk. It doesn’t matter how fast or how long. Just walk. Or swim or cycle or dance or whatever. Don’t feel obligated to move quickly or achieve a certain heart rate or distance. Just move your body.”

Exercise is Medicine month plans to raise awareness of the physical activity needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle by offering daily activities in the week prior to Homecoming in or around McCormick Hall.

For more information about the larger Exercise is Medicine campaign visit: www.exerciseismedicine.org.

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