In early February 2015, my travels took me to Alabama and Auburn University and then on to Statesboro, Georgia and Georgia Southern University. I was there to give some lectures and also meet with faculty and students on both of these campuses to talk about the importance of exercise to health. I made this trip to help support the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine on Campus initiative. This is an important outreach of the Exercise is Medicine initiative with a goal of insuring that no student leaves a university or college without a lifetime plan for fitness. These two schools are a great example of the commitment every school should make toward insuring the health of its students by encouraging and supporting them to be more active.
Auburn University is well known for its great sports teams, but it is also becoming known for its great campus recreation center. I got a change to tour the facilities there and meet with leadership and was so impressed with the state of the art facilities and commitment by the staff and students to promoting physical activity on the Auburn campus. From Auburn, I traveled on to Statesboro, Georgia to visit the campus of Georgia Southern University (GSU). They are equally committed to promoting physical activity and also have a beautiful recreation center that is right on campus and available to students and staff. They also have a wonderful student health center that is taking an active role in prescribing exercise to the GSU students.
We know that college years are often a time when young people are on their own for the first time and may develop bad habits. They often eat too much at the all you can eat dining hall, stop playing sports and exercising and often experiment with alcohol, tobacco and drugs. For that reason, I think our colleges need to take an active role in putting our children on a path for a long and healthy life. And I think the best way to do this is by insuring students regularly engage in exercise or other physical activity. Studies tell us that college students who are active are more likely to remain active as they grow older. I am excited to report that Auburn and Georgia Southern are two universities who are models of promoting Exercise is Medicine On Campus and my hat goes off the their campus leadership for making this happen.
I hope this blog finds you well and doing the walking you need to stay healthy. Keep on walking my friends!