Active U Autumn seeks to get the university community moving
Registration for this year's Active U Autumn opens today. The fall version of MHealthy's popular physical activity challenge saw more than 9,000 faculty, staff, students and retirees log more than 8 million activity minutes in just six weeks last year.
"We always get feedback from participants saying they would love a program like Active U in the fall to help keep them motivated as the weather gets colder and the holiday season approaches," says Carolyn Warheit, MHealthy physical activity coordinator.
Michelle Braun, multimedia designer for University Human Resources, says she hopes to find extra motivation to exercise during colder months from her husband, Joe, a systems administrator at the Institute for Social Research, and their Active U teammates.
"As a family, we spend a lot of our vacation time hiking and canyoneering in Zion National Park in Utah," Braun says. "When we're at home, we visit the local parks in Ann Arbor for hiking, and practice climbing at the rock climbing gym. Joe and I are on the same Active U Autumn team so we encourage each other to stay on track. We don't want to let ourselves or our other teammates down."
Active U Autumn includes many of same features as its winter counterpart:
• Sign up as an individual, as a twosome or as a team.
• All spouses/Other Qualified Adults, including those not employed by U-M, can join.
• Track physical activity minutes online or by using a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.
• Make an optional donation to support a worthy cause.
• Chance to win prizes just by logging activity.
It also has several unique features:
• Active U Autumn is only six weeks instead of 12.
• All students, including undergraduates, are eligible to participate.
• In addition to promoting physical activity, there's a dual emphasis on nutrition.
"Physical activity and nutrition really do go hand-in-hand for better health," says Erica Wald, manager of the MHealthy Nutrition and Weight Management Program. "Active U Autumn participants will have access to recipes, healthy eating tips, portion size charts and other resources to make healthy eating simple, satisfying and delicious."
To help kick off Active U Autumn, MHealthy is hosting the following events during registration:
• Wednesday: Chef Demonstration at the Michigan Union — Learn from U-M culinary experts how to make meals, sides and snacks that are quick, delicious and healthy.
• Sept. 19: Torch Relay — Join U-M leaders and fellow colleagues as they walk, run and wheel through campus. Start at either Regents' Plaza or the University Hospital Courtyard. End at Palmer Field for a ceremonial "passing of the torch."
• Sept. 19: MGames Field Day — Takes place at Palmer Field from noon-2 p.m. and includes games and activities, information booths, T-shirt giveaways, inflatables and more. Similar events will be held at UM-Flint on Sept. 26 and UM-Dearborn on Oct. 2.
Participation in Active U Autumn, the Torch Relay, the MGames Field Day or the chef demo, qualifies benefits-eligible faculty and staff for automatic entry into MHealthy's November Grand Prize Drawing and a chance to win one of six prizes valued up to $500. Participants get one drawing entry for each eligible program. Employees attending one of the above events should bring their U-M ID to be entered.