Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, December 14, 2009

MHealthy Active U registration begins today

Instead of worrying about the number on the scale, Shawn Sieg focuses on how much better he feels since he started to exercise regularly.

Shawn Sieg says he gets his minutes in for Active U by walking around Wolverine Tower during lunch, coaching baseball and going to the gym. (Photo by Matthew Snyder, UHR Communications)

“Weight has been a lifetime battle for me but I’ve learned that I don’t need to be skinny to be healthy,” says Sieg, desktop support coordinator in HR Records & Information Services. “I’m active three to five days a week — walking, using the elliptical machine or reclining bike at the gym, and coaching baseball. I have a lot more energy now and I feel good.”

Sieg credits Active U for helping him stay motivated and looks forward to the upcoming fifth installment, which runs Jan. 25-April 19. “Logging my exercise minutes online really helps to keep me on track and I find myself working out longer so I can log a few more minutes,” he says.

Registration begins today for the fifth annual Active U physical activity challenge and charity fundraiser for faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees. Sign up as an individual or as part of a team at www.MHealthy.umich.edu. Registration ends Jan. 25.

More than 9,400 people participated in last year’s program, logging more than 15.5 million physical activity minutes.

Click here for more information on MHealthy programs.

Based on past participant feedback, Active U has been expanded to 12 weeks this year. The online tracker also has been enhanced to track physical activity minutes based on intensity level.

“Instead of just tracking the number of minutes you’ve exercised, you can now log according to whether the activity was moderate or vigorous,” says Alisa Morningstar, associate director for MHealthy Wellness and Risk Reduction Services.

Morningstar says examples of moderate activity are a brisk walk, cycling at moderate speeds, mopping or light manual yard work. Vigorous activities include jogging, heavy manual yard work or aerobic fitness classes like Zumba or spinning.

Weekly drawings for items like gift certificates and gym memberships, and grand prize drawings for cash prizes remain a part of Active U. Other popular features also return, including free limited access to university rec centers, the Active U blog allowing participants to interact and share experiences online, and Active U-tube where participants can post and share videos on how and why they get active.

During registration and throughout the program, participants again have the opportunity to give back to the community through Active U’s charity component. Up to six local charities will benefit from donations made by participants. At the end of Active U, one team and individual participant from each university campus will select a charity to receive a portion of the donated funds.