TeamOC, students, faculty push for the fight against obesity

Oklahoma Christian promotes healthy lifestyles and activities through TeamOC classes.
Photo by Abby Bellow

Oklahoma Christian promotes healthy lifestyles and activities through TeamOC classes. Photo by Abby Bellow

According to NewsOK, the state of Oklahoma has the eighth-highest obesity rate in country, however, students and faculty at Oklahoma Christian University are staying active to beat the statistic.

TeamOC challenges Oklahoma Christian faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends to get on a fitness track, according to its website. TeamOC offers a variety of classes – such as boot camp, zumba and kickboxing – on campus throughout the week, as well as encourages the participation in multiple outlets of physical activity.

“All the fitness events are connected to Team OC,” Darci Thompson, director of wellness at Oklahoma Christian said. “For example, the Eagle Trail, The Dub, fitness classes and even the 5k’s that OC hosts, we try to support any health-related thing that benefits our campus because health is so important.”

While time could be used an excuse to get out of physical activity, Thompson said that there are ways to hold yourself accountable with the use of goals and friends.

“It can be hard to find time to work out and do physical activities in between school work and other activities going on,” Thompson said. “Luckily there are a variety of options that OC offers that students can do A good way to stay active on campus is setting goals for yourself and even finding someone to hold you accountable, someone willing to work out with you and push you to your goal.”

TeamOC’s Body and Soul class instructor, Arianne Gillham said it is especially important for college students to stay active and healthy on campus.

“The immediate health benefits alone will help them miss less classes, enable better study habits, better sleep habits and better stress management habits,” Gillham said. “This also connects them to a better community, peers who will encourage them in healthy lifestyle habits rather than the opposite. It also sets up their future, to have these habits before entering the work force and/or starting a family is an advantageous head start.”

For freshmen Dorian Lopez, his motivation to stay active comes from his family. Lopez said that everyone should try to do some kind of physical activity at least once a day so that they can live longer and healthier lives.

“I have a lot of family members that are overweight or have diabetes, so it is extra important to me to stay healthy and not follow in those steps,” Lopez said. “I would encourage everyone to focus more on their health so that obesity can decrease and this can become less of a problem around the world.”

Lopez is a member of Oklahoma Christian’s men’s basketball team and said it is not only important for athletes to be active, but for everyone.

“I have been playing basketball since I was four years old, so I have always naturally been active because of that,” Lopez said. “On the other hand, I like to do other things besides just playing basketball. I love to lift weights or even mow lawns, and I get paid for mowing lawns so that is always a bonus, having a job that can help you stay active.”

Sophomore Kayden Carver uses Oklahoma Christian’s on-campus fitness center The Dub as a tool for physical activity, socializing and stress relief.

“I like going to the fitness center to work out because it’s a great place to stay active, you can meet a lot of new people there and those people help keep you motivated while working out,” sophomore Kayden Carver said. “Working out and staying active on campus is a great stress reliever and makes you not feel so bad about the late night Whataburger runs.”

Carver said she thinks that everyone should try to find time throughout the day to be active so that they can feel more energized, especially since there are so many options in what people can do to stay active.

“Whether it be running, lifting or anything that you are into, any kind of physical activity counts,” Carver said. “I definitely try to make time every day to be active and do something that makes me feel more refreshed.”

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