Health center promotes a fitness program

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After two years of success with “Lighten Up Lions,” the University Health Center is partnering with the Pennington Student Activity Center to sponsor the weight-loss program for a third year.

Beginning Feb. 18, “LightenUp Lions” is scheduled to kick off another semester with one-on-one meetings, weekly group meetings, prizes, meal plan suggestions, weigh-ins and a three days a week exercise routine. The exercise routine will consist of either 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. In addition to walking for health, participants are encouraged to join classes at the Pennington Center, which are included with a gym membership.

“It’s a seven-week free program for students on campus,”said Kayla Noll, a graduate assistant at the health center. “It’s kind of tailored towards them. We took some of the suggestions from last semester’s group to fix, kind of recreate it this semester.”

Noll clarified a potential misconception.

“For diet and stuff, we’re not certified nutritionists or dietitians,” explained Noll. “We can’t really get into meal plan or anything. All we can do is kind of educate them on food labels, or use MyPlate, just to kind of have them aware of the food groups and the proper portions and stuff.”

Nicholas “Nick” Mayeur, coordinator of fitness and wellness at Recreational Sports and Wellness, will be working with Noll as a one-on-one advisor during the program alongside four interns and another graduate assistant. Mayeur intends to bring group exercise instructors to speak about fitness and goals.

“Different Mondays, we want to try to ask speakers to come and talk about health topics,” shared Mayeur. “One of them is the LSU Ag liaison, and they will come and talk to us about nutrition and what a healthy meal looks like and hopefully even cook for us.”

Besides physical health, the program will also promote mental health.

“We also reached out to the student counseling center to talk about mental health and how that is important in everyday life,” stated Mayeur.

Noll discussed incentives that may appeal to participants.

“We have a grand prize at the end of the program,” said Noll. “So, whoever loses the most body fat percent wins the prize because it’s an even playing field versus whoever loses the most weight or BMI because everybody loses weight differently.”

Noll compared the number of seats available from last year to this year.

“Last semester, I think there was about eight, but we are taking a maximum of 30 just because I think that’s how much we can handle with all of us right now,” said Noll.

For those interested in joining “Lighten Up Lions,” the deadline for registration is Feb. 7, and the program is open to 30 participants. The sign up packet can be found on the health center page.