| 03.24.2018

Train like a Vandal


The 11th Vandal Fitness Challenge is encouraging students to do more than work out — it’s helping them to form healthier eating habits too.
Director of Wellness and Fitness Peggy Hamlett said this year participants have access to the campus dietician. Participants will also have access to fitness tracking apps,, cooking classes and trainers.
“Things have changed so much since we started in 2002,” Hamlett said. “The first time we did the Vandal Fitness challenge, the grand prize was a flat-screen. We decided to change that because we wanted to encourage continued healthy choices and a flat-screen encourages sitting. That’s how we ended up using bicycles as prizes.”
Hamlett said the program has changed a lot due in part to the new faces coming into the ASUI Student Recreation Board.
Hamlett said there are 235 participants in this year’s challenge. With this many contestants they are expected to be mostly self-reliant, but they will be sent updates and reminders through the challenge’s Facebook page to encourage them to stick with the challenge.
Marketing and Special Events Coordinator Kristin Strong said sponsors like Subway and the VandalStore allow the challenge to offer weekly prizes to keep people involved. Paradise Creek Bicycles provided the two bicycles that participants can win in a drawing if they complete the challenge.
Strong also said there is going to be a Vandal Fitness Challenge late night at the recreation center in March sponsored by Safeway and Tri-State.
Campus Dietician Marissa Lucas said her daily duties include nutrition counseling for students and outreach programs like Vandalizing the Kitchen or Think Outside the Lunchbox. Lucas said she worked with Bob’s Place to implement their simple servings program.
Lucas said she put together the weekly surveys and helped create the fitness apps for the Vandal Fitness Challenge. She said she also puts together the weekly nutrition tips for the challenge’s Facebook page.
Lucas said the outreach programs like Vandalizing the Kitchen are open to all students, but there are incentives offered for Vandal Fitness Challenge participants who attend.
First time challenge participant Ryan Stomberg said he was excited for the challenge, but the first round of fitness testing was an eye-opener.
“When I was in the Marine Corps we would be working out all day so we’d eat whatever we wanted,” Stomberg said. “When I got out I kept eating like that. It’s amazing how quickly you get out of shape.”
Stomberg said he plans to train using Crossfit like he did in the Marine Corps.
The final fitness testing for contestants is March 27-29.
Andrew Deskins can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu  

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