Students and faculty shape up for the spring

Alexandra Cline

Want to jumpstart a spring workout plan? Need inspiration to maintain those fitness-related New Year’s Resolutions? Or just looking for an incentive to visit the Fitness Center?

The annual Spring Fitness Challenge is already primed and ready to help Washington and Lee students and faculty rejuvenate their bodies for the warmer weather and motivate extra gym-going during the second half of the term.

Members of the W&L community may now register for the challenge, which runs from March 6 to April 8, to earn points for cardio, flexibility and strength exercises completed.

Each type of workout equates to a differing amount of points. A total of 10 points earns one raffle ticket that participants can use towards this year’s prizes, which include yoga mats, parking at the Lee House, wireless sport headphones and group exercise passes.

Patti Colliton is the Fitness/Wellness Program Coordinator and oversees the challenge.

“[Participants] can apply all the tickets they receive to one prize or sprinkle them around to multiple different prizes,” Colliton said. “Only 5 raffle tickets can be earned per day though, so it won’t be very beneficial to spend hours and hours on a treadmill.”

For the challenge, 20-40 minutes of cardio, 10+ minutes of stretching and 10+ minutes of abdominal work result in 10 points each. A group exercise class results in 30 points.     

Colliton implemented the challenge at W&L eight years ago. She believes the program will inspire the community to remain active throughout the spring and provide an incentive for spending extra hours in the gym.

“With New Year’s resolutions fading at this point in the year, it gives an extra boost to entice people into the Fitness Center and is such an easy program to follow,” Colliton said.

In years prior, the challenge has averaged 200 participants, with half of that number representing students and the other half faculty. For employees, earning a certain number of points through wellness programs, such as the fitness challenge, results in a discounted insurance premium.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to not only earn some of the prizes, but also receive a financial benefit from the extra working out,” Colliton said. Students also choose to partake in the challenge for a variety of reasons.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to stay motivated and keep up with exercise throughout the semester,” said Kirsten McMichael, ‘19, who plans to participate in the program. “Exercise is definitely proportional to health and stress levels, so it’s crucial to maintain a healthy regimen.”