The W Gets fit through annual Walktober event

Anna Clare Dudley


        Mississippi University for Women’s campus recreation department sponsored the second annual Walktober event during the entire month of October with opportunities to win free prizes and kickstart a healthier lifestyle.

Walktober began on Oct. 4 and continued every week throughout the rest of the month. Staff members were set up every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the W walking path starting line near Cochran on the north end of campus.

This event encouraged everyone to start a more active lifestyle.  The one-mile long gray path showcases the W’s beautiful campus.  Staff members set up stations every quarter mile to add a few more physical challenges to the walk such as push-ups, sit-ups or jumping jacks.

“Wellness is at the forefront of our mind,” said LeAnn Alexander, director of campus recreation. “We are trying to inspire a healthy change not just for this month, but for a lifetime.”

During Walktober, students and faculty utilized the new walking path that was provided through a grant awarded by BlueCross BlueShield.  The Passport to Wellness team worked very hard to get the walking path and hoped that Walktober inspired more people to begin a healthier lifestyle.  

Every person who completed the one mile walk was entered to win a prize. Prizes included T-shirts and water bottles.  All prizes were provided by Passport to Wellness.

“Walking, period, is important. It is our job to make it more accessible for people,” said April Barlow, Passport to Wellness project director.

That is why the new walking path is so important.  It makes exercising more accessible and convenient for everyone at the W.

“I’m glad they marked it with blue paint to tell exactly where to go,” said Heather Watkins, a senior Exercise Science major at The W. Watkins participated in the event every week. She said that she is very likely to use the path again even after Walktober.

Walktober provided a way for students and faculty to de-stress during their lunch breaks and get some fresh air during their busy day.  

Marquiti Kirk, a staff member in the Financial Aid Department, had a specific goal in mind for Walktober.

“I’d like to lose a few pounds and get in shape,” said Kirk.

Kirk added that the walking path is awesome and she plans to use the path several times a week.

“Walktober is a fun way for the entire campus to make a change for overall mental and physical wellness,” said Alexander.  

On Oct. 18 the university’s Walktober event was the third-annual W Walks to Lunch day. The purpose of this event is to encourage physical fitness by walking to local restaurants nearby for lunch instead of driving. Local restaurants and coffee shops provided discounts or gift cards to participants who showed up wearing the “W Walks to Lunch” sticker.


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