A complete list of events can be found at Health and Human Performance’s Exercise is Medicine web page. For additional information or questions, email EIM@utc.edu.
Exercise can be as simple as parking a little further from your building instead of driving around campus to find that perfect spot, according to Karissa Peyer, UC Foundation assistant professor in the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Department of Health and Human Performance.
“I think there’s often this perception that exercise has to be CrossFit or training for a marathon or something crazy that takes a lot of time every day,” said Peyer, whose research interests focus on physical activity, family behaviors and childhood obesity. “If that’s what you love, that’s great. But we really just want everybody to go outside and get more movement.”
October is Exercise is Medicine on Campus Month (EIM-OC), a social media-driven initiative that promotes physical exercise through activity challenges for students, faculty and staff.
As supervisor of the campus’ EIM-OC team, Peyer has been busy putting together an October slate of events focusing on ways to make fitness a priority.
“We realized right away that social media is the way to go to engage with students to promote EIM-OC,” Peyer said. “For many students, exercise can be intimidating but, despite the name, Exercise is Medicine is really about physical activity.
“Physical activity is so important for your mental health, too. Sometimes, you just need to get outside, walk around and take a break.”
Events will occur throughout the month, starting with a “Footsteps and Football” walk from Chamberlain Field to Finley Stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, before the Mocs’ football game against Western Carolina University. All participants will be entered into a raffle drawing for a UTC football fitness basket.
The walk, coordinated by Health and Human Performance Program Manager Emma Sampson, benefits the American Heart Association.
Peyer said many events on the EIM-OC calendar come with hashtags and prizes, including a month-long Bingo card with a list of activity challenges—such as taking a walk on the Riverwalk or doing lunges by the UTC Library—and a chance to win an Apple watch.
EIM-OC highlights include:
- Sunset yoga on Wednesday, Oct. 6, on Chamberlain Circle, beginning at 6:45 p.m.
- #MocsMove Social Media Challenge (the week of Oct. 11), in which participants are asked to submit photos documenting step counts or a specific walk/run workout.
- #UnplugUnwind Social Media Challenge (the week of Oct. 18), with participants asked to submit photos of ways they were able to stay off smartphone screens and take part in activities like hiking or biking.
- #ActiveAtTheARC Social Media Challenge (the week of Oct. 25), with a UTC swag bag drawing for participants who submit selfies from the Aquatic Recreation Center.
- Daily “Did You Know” physical fitness facts will be posted on the Department of Health and Human Performance’s Instagram account (@utc_hhp).
“A lot of people—family, friends, students—ask me, ‘What’s the best kind of exercise?’” Peyer said. “My response is always, ‘The kind that you’ll actually do.’
“For instance, instead of circling campus for 20 minutes to find a perfect parking spot, maybe just park on the other side of campus and walk. You’ll get to class at the same time. That’s the focus of EIM-OC Month.”