The faculty members at Oklahoma Christian University are taking steps towards a lifestyle of better health and fitness.
Director of Wellness Darci Thompson developed a 13-week Team OC Fitness Challenge for the faculty on campus four years ago.Thompson said although many participants are involved in the program to lose weight that is not the main focus of the program.
“The main point is for people to learn how to build fitness and health into their lifestyle,” Thompson said. “It’s about being healthy, feeling better and making that the priority and fitting that into their everyday life.”
Thompson said each week participants are required to meet four different requirements. Each participant has to reach 8,000 steps a day and they can keep track of their movement through the Vivofit band they are given to wear There is a website for the staff members to compete with others about how many steps they walk each week.
“They have to complete a different challenge each week, there’s about 12 fitness challenges and 12 nutritional challenges,” Thompson said. “We let them choose between the two, and they can do more than one in a week, but have to complete at least 12 challenges.”
Debbie Newberry, articulation coordinator in the Registrar’s Office, has been involved in the fitness challenge since its beginning but has a personal motivation for participating.
“I have been doing this since 2013 and my favorite favorite part is that I love losing , but my least favorite part is the burpees, ” Newberry said. “For a while now, my dad has been having a series of strokes, and after every one I watched him work hard to get back to where he was before. I knew that if he could work that hard after going through something like that, then I could get a handle on the food, and lose the weight.”
Newberry said the first year she participated in the program she lost 35 pounds within the first three months.
“I didn’t realize how much I needed people to do this program,” Newberry said. “At first, I tried to hide it from my co-workers at all costs, but of course they found out immediately and they became the best supporters ever. Darci and the trainer were always so patient with me and always so encouraging to me. I just had to learn not to be embarrassed anymore.”
Another requirement of the program is participants must have an accountability partner. While some choose other staff members, box office director Kim Northcott is using a family member.
“My accountability partner is my daughter,” Northcott said. “Summer Lashley is also one of mine. We work out together. I exercise on my own anyway, but it just keeps me more motivated to exercise regularly and also watch what I eat.”
Northcott said her favorite part of the program is the group workouts Team OC offers. This is Northcott’s second year to do the challenge and she loves the motivation it gives her to eat healthier and exercise more regularly.
For more information on Team OC, contact Darci Thompson.