Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Walking Club Spurs UNO Faculty and Staff to Partner in Fitness

Enjilee Dunn checked her pedometer.

It registered all 3,509 steps she took in her first 30-minute walk with the new President’s Cross Campus Walkers, a walking club formed by University of New Orleans President John Nicklow in collaboration with the Department of Recreation & Intramural Sports to encourage fitness and camaraderie among University employees.

Most days lately, Dunn, an academic internship advisor in the College of Business Administration, has been working through her lunch break and eating at her desk. The president’s invitation to get out and walk each week was just what she needed to get back to her habit of regular walking. She was happy to have the extra steps.

“It’s a good stress reliever,” Dunn said. “It gives me an opportunity to leave my desk.”

The club was apparently an easy sell. Nearly 120 faculty and staff signed up to join the weekly walk nearly as soon as the email invitation went out. Participants got pedometers and T-shirts that proclaim the spirit behind the initiative: “We work together. We walk together.”

Dan Harper, associate director of interdisciplinary studies at UNO, said he was glad to be asked.

“I think it’s a good social event,” he said, “but I’m also inclined to try to maintain some type of fitness routine. I need to get in a few more walking days and this is a good way to do it.”

The group, which will meet each Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. in the plaza between the Recreation and Fitness Center and the University Center, clocked 1.37 miles on its inaugural walk. From the Rec Center, they streamed across campus to Founders Avenue, then back toward Elysian Fields Avenue, walking under oaks, past fountains and in front of the UC before arriving back where they began. Nicklow said the route will change each week.

Participants were invited to sign a “Get Fit! Stay Fit” pledge, agreeing to exercise regularly, eat healthier, maintain a positive outlook and encourage others to participate.

For more information about the group, contact Kassie Thibodeaux at kthibode@uno.edu. Or show up for the next walk. All faculty and staff are invited.