ALBANY – More than 90 Albany State University faculty and staff members participated in the institution’s first Get to Steppin’ Competition to promote a healthier lifestyle through exercise.
In six weeks, 19 teams walked more than 31 million steps, which totaled 14.9 thousand miles.
“This competition cemented new relationships between faculty and staff members from all departments,” Kenneth Kirsch, ASU’s Health and Wellness director, said. “Most importantly, this competition promoted greater awareness about well-being. We hope this will serve as a catalyst as we continue to build upon our ASU health and wellness initiative.”
The winning team, the Soul Stepping Sisters, comprised faculty and staff members Kathaleena Monds, Janis Carthon, Shelley Bingham, Kalpana Paudel and Cynthia Bennett. The team walked a total of 1.2 thousand miles.
Bennet said the activity changed her view of being active. She began thinking of creative ways to gain steps throughout the day and eventually aimed for 23,000 to 25,000 steps a day. Whether it was walking while waiting at the airport or pacing while waiting for a meeting, Bennet said she took the competition seriously. As a result, she lost 11 pounds.
“I had to change my mindset to believe that ‘stepping’ can take place anywhere, anytime,” Bennet said. “Most people make the mistake of thinking that they have to ‘dress out’ or leave home to exercise — not true. You just have to be conscientious, creative and determined. The rest is easy. Thanks to my Soul-Stepping Sisters, team captain Dr. Kathaleena Monds, and Dr. Kenneth Kirsch, for helping me to realize my potential. Go team.”
The winning team received special shirts and gift cards.
“Participating in the university-based step challenge was an excellent opportunity to mobilize colleagues toward good health,” Monds said. “I have always loved exercising; however, being intentional about movement and walking was heightened as a result of the competition. Each member was committed to walking, on average, 10,000 steps per day, which resulted in our collective success. I believe that we should institutionally deploy more programs across the campus that support balance of mind, body and spirit.”
The ASU Health and Wellness Committee will launch another competition in the fall.