October 07, 2011 12:00AM
On Thursday, PSU President Steve Scott joined a group of students, faculty and staff on the Oval for a little light exercise. The group has been working out on the Oval on Tuesdays and Thursdays for several weeks. The sessions are not long and the activity isn't strenuous, but organizers believe the results can be life-changing.
Dr. Mike Leiker, an associate professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance and Recreation, said the weekly exercise on the Oval is designed not just to help the PSU community burn a few extra calories each week, but to begin to think of exercise as an important part of a healthier lifestyle.
"We are all busy people and lack of time is one of the most common excuses people use for not exercising regularly," Leiker said. "Exercise on the Oval is a good example of how people can include healthy activity in their busy lives."
Leiker, a proponent of the Exercise is Medicine movement, said PSU Student Health Services, the Human Performance Lab and the Student Recreation Center all have services that can help students interested in beginning an exercise routine.
"The staff at the Bryant Student Health Center can refer students who would benefit from the Exercise is Medicine movement," Leiker said.
Rita Girth, operations director at the Bryant Student Health Center, said Student Health Services is committed to the belief that exercise and physical activity are integral in the prevention and treatment of diseases and should be regularly assessed as part of all medical care.
"Our focus to this mission is to identify 'at risk' students and recommend incorporating physical activity as a prescription treatment plan," Girth said.
Students can get help implementing that plan at the Student Recreation Center.
"Our role is to provide students with a chance to meet with a health coach to discuss fitness goals, proper use of exercise equipment, and personalized exercise programs," said Bryce Winklepleck, assistant director of fitness and wellness.