Trail Blazing to Get Active, be Healthy

PathBeginning this past fall, some 25 students from the Departments of Health, Physical Education and Dance and Engineering Technology have been conducting research in preparation for the introduction of Tiger Trails, a main component of the Get Active, Be Healthy Learning Community.

With the use of equipment called measuring wheels, students are determining the circumference of the campus, walking distances between buildings, and indoor as well as outdoor miles.

Under the guidance of Professor Edward Davis, students in the Department of Engineering Technology are collecting raw data and surveying the elevation of hills.

“We are creating a map to show Tigers the location and routing of the Tigertrails paths within and around the campus,” said Professor Davis.

Additionally, students will measure caloric expenditure for the above activities with the use of Fitbits®, a small wireless activity-tracking device that can be worn in a pocket or on the waist.

“Most people have a general idea of how many calories are in the foods they eat, but don’t have a sense of how many calories are burned while doing everyday things, which is equally important,” said Dr. Tony Monahan, who developed the Tiger Trails concept with Dr. Andrea Salis, both from the Department of Health, Physical Education and Dance (HPED).

Dr. Salis said, “This is an innovative way to introduce the importance of daily, aerobic exercise and inspire people to try new activities like sport walking or even race walking!”

The trails—which will include handicap paths –are scheduled to be ready for use in the fall of 2013. The trails will be marked by degree of difficulty and used for class participation, new student orientation, athletic warm-ups and promotional events such as Walk to Aspire.

Approval for the learning community was granted by the HPED Department and the Office for Academic Affairs.