The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Mary Wash Moves campaign helps students struggling to stay healthy

3 min read

Participants in the weekly Mary Wash Moves challenge are entered in a drawing to win prizes. | Campus Recreation Instagram

by KAITLYN HUNDLEY

Staff Writer

During the spring semester, Campus Recreation is urging students to come together to better their physical and emotional health. Mary Wash Moves is a new free course offered to help educate students on their personal fitness. Mary Wash Moves sends weekly emails to participants with fitness and health tips, motivation, and advice. With these motivational emails, students are encouraged to participate in challenges that are rewarded with prizes.  The class uses an app called Strava which makes the course easy to access and track for all challengers. 

Studies have shown that students are struggling to stay active and healthy. According to the article Changes in Depression and Physical Activity Among College Students on a Diverse Campus After a COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order, “About two-thirds of students recently surveyed reported that they were extremely concerned about the pandemic’s duration, and increased financial stress. They also reported increases in anxiety and depression, and academic performance suffering due to mental health concerns.”

“Every week there’s a new challenge to participate in and as long as you do the requirements that are asked, then you have a chance to be in a drawing to win,” said Katie Molina, a senior history major. 

Molina  is one of the more recent winners. She won a group fitness pass, which she plans to give her prize to someone who may want it. “I wasn’t disappointed at all when I won (even though I already have the pass), I was really surprised. I usually don’t win things,  so it was super cool to know that I won,” said Molina.

Kenya Carter, a sophomore communication major and intramural sports coordinator, said that Mary Wash Moves’ objective is to reach out to all students and staff virtually to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. 

“Ever since COVID started, it’s been hard for me to stay active, so Mary Wash Moves reminds me to move around and take care of myself first,” said Carter. “I feel like my physical and mental health has gotten better ever since I joined.”

As of right now there are over 100 participants in Mary Wash Moves. Carter said that it is a major success so far, and that there has been a significant amount of positive feedback from students. According to Carter, students have reported that they feel more motivated and accomplished when they participate in these activities. 

Mary Wash Moves has activities including movie nights, Campus Recreation group fitness or meditation classes and runs with a fitness instructor. They also provide opportunities for students to upload a post of their success with improving their mental or physical well-being. 

“This new course is giving students the opportunity to get active and articulate in campus activities,” says Carter.

Angelica Gaughran, a senior sociology major and coordinator of Campus Recreation’s marketing team, said that information regarding Mary Wash Moves can be found on their social media platform (@umwcampusrec) and in campus newsletters like Student Activities Engagement (SAE) and Eagle Eye. It’s also promoted on the campus hall TVs and the University Center’s television screens.

“I really want this to succeed and be a successful program, but I think it only will be if students are willing to be part of it and participate in the information and or the challenges [that] they are given. I think all the information and all the challenges that are presented have a purpose in helping the student-body,” said Gaughran.

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