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January 25, 2018
NICK GUERRIERO: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the sixth installment of the 2017-18 CoSIDA Continuing Education Series sponsored by Capital One. My name is Nick Guerriero. I'm the assistant director of athletic communications at American University here in Washington, D.C., and the vice-chair of the CoSIDA Continuing Education Committee. I'll be moderating today's webinar as we start 2018 with our JanYOUary mental and physical wellness tips for our CoSIDA members. This exercise will hopefully help everyone with tips and advice on how to stay fresh and mentally strong throughout the year.
Presenting on today's webinar are Randy Bird, the director of sports nutrition at the University of Virginia; Dr. Jeff Milroy, the associate director at the Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness at the University of UNC-Greensboro; and Jeremy Rosenthal, the assistant director of media relations at Indiana University and the vice-chair of the CoSIDA Goodwill and Wellness Committee. Attendees on today's webinar are welcome to submit questions in the chat window during today's presentation, and we will address them as time allows.
Our first presenter will be Randy Bird, who is here to speak about the importance of nutrition while working long hours and working in a job that has us seated for most of the day. Welcome, Randy.
RANDY BIRD: Thank you. Okay, welcome. As was just stated, I'm here to tell you about nutrition for the SID. Knowing that you work very long hours, that most of you will work more hours than the coaches do, and a lot of it is very sedentary, so it's absolutely vital that you are putting the right food in your body, otherwise you will have a weakened immune system, your health will be compromised, and just overall you won't feel as well.
So to start with, my number one recommendation for you is starting with breakfast. Skipping breakfast seems like an easy way to save some calories, but at the same time, if you skip breakfast, you're more likely to crave sugary foods, crave fatty foods later in the day, and more likely to overload late in the day. By eating breakfast, it increases mental awareness, provides fuel for the brain, allowing your brain to function optimally, and that's your key to your job is you have to be mentally sharp. So without breakfast, you will be at a more compromised state. There's been numerous research studies looking at students, and the students who ate breakfast always out-performed academically the students who did not. So making sure you start the day with breakfast is a key.
There are a lot of diets out there that will lead you to skip breakfast, like intermittent fasting, and if your goal is weight loss, that is an effective strategy to control your calories, but it doesn't work for everybody, so nutrition should be very individualized to your situation. But when we're looking at optimal health, I will always tell you to start with breakfast.
Second to that is we need to schedule out your meals. So a lot of nutrition, and this applies to you very well, is based on planning. A quote that I like to use very frequently that's been attributed to Ben Franklin is "a failure to plan is a plan to fail," and when it comes to a nutrition plan, you really need to plan ahead. By flying by the seats of your pants, you're more likely to be tempted by those convenient foods, those fast foods, just the ones that are typically not a healthy option for you. So by planning ahead, you can plan to eat every three, four hours so you're eating four to five times a day, and you're not waiting a long time between meals, because if you do that, if you can plan to eat every three or four hours, you will have better blood sugar control. With better blood sugar control, that will allow you not to store as much fat. If you're having surges and drops in blood sugar, it promotes fat storage. It promotes you to be hungry sooner, so then you eat more, which then just keeps that cycle going, and the drop in blood sugar makes you tired and cranky, as well. By having better blood sugar control, you will feel better, and people around you will like you a little bit more.
Eating every few hours lowers stress hormone production. Any time you're going long periods of time without eating, your body is having to -- it's called catabolize, break down tissues inside of you to try to fuel your brain, and with that, it increases stress hormones, and you tend to lose muscle tissue that way, and muscle will drive your metabolism. It costs more energy to maintain muscle than it does fat, so as you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down. So by eating every few hours, you're going to lower that stress hormone production and save that muscle, therefore protect your metabolism.
And then again, brain function. As you eat every few hours, you're giving your brain fuel. Since it has fuel, it's going to function optimally, versus waiting for your body to break down muscle tissue to provide fuel for your brain. So again, going back to planning, you need to plan ahead. Ideally bring a lunch with you to your office. Ideally bring snacks with you to your office. So I'm assuming most of you will have a refrigerator nearby that you can put snacks like Greek yogurt in there. You can put your lunch, leftovers from the night before in there. So planning ahead is a key component.
While we eat, we want to include protein every single time. Protein is essential to live. It also helps from a food standpoint by stabilizing your blood sugar, by burning more calories. It's called more thermo dynamic. The cost to eat and digest protein is higher than the body than carbohydrates and fat. So as you eat more protein, you burn more calories during the digestion process. Again, helps stabilize blood sugar, which we talked about, and it increases satiety, so you don't feel as hungry. It allows you to go a little bit longer without having those hunger pains. So have protein every single time you eat a meal or a snack. My general rule for protein choices is simple: Just count the legs. The fewer the legs, the better, so fish, you should have more often, and then chicken and turkey next, and then beef and pork last. So that's the ranking of the protein sources when we're looking at meats. Other protein sources, another rule that I give to athletes and to high school and even younger kids are the best protein sources either were an animal or came from an animal, so that came from an animal piece would be your milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs. All of those are very high-quality protein, giving you the amino acids you need to function. So those are the basic rules when it comes to protein, and those are the things that -- generally protein is a little bit harder to come by, so that's what you have to plan ahead and make sure you have with you. The carbs and fruits are easier to have around. Protein generally needs a little bit more planning and a lot of times needs refrigeration, so that's why I recommend packing and bringing some Greek yogurt just to stock your fridge with you so you can have that protein source.
In addition to protein every time, you need to have produce, so fruits and vegetables, every single time you eat. Generally it's recommended that you have five to six cups of fruits and vegetables every single day, and if you're not having that every time that you eat, it's going to be hard to meet that recommendation. If you're lacking fruits and vegetables, basically your body is going to become more vulnerable to stress. So the way I communicate it with our athletes is that category of food really provide the nutrients that your body can use to ward off stress. So as you put stress on your body, whether it's mental stress, whether it's the time demands, crunching deadlines to get everything in, that stress can really wreak havoc on your body. And if you're sleeping poorly, that's even more stress.
So with all that extra stress, you need more fruits and vegetables. By getting that, your body will function optimally, it'll fight inflammation, and inflammation is one of the biggest causes of many diseases, and it's going to ward off illness. It's providing all the vitamins and minerals you need, plus other fight owe nutrients that help those vitamins and minerals work well.
Hydration, not just for athletes but for everybody. You need to hydrate but be mindful of what you're drinking. Again, this takes planning, too, because if you're in the middle of a game having to run all over the place and get stats to the coaches, you need to be hydrating, as well. Ideally you're going to get 10 to 15 ounces of water at each meal or snack, so then you're looking at 75 -- 50 to 75 ounces of water a day. But if you don't plan ahead and carry a water bottle, a Yeti cup, something like that, with you, you're less likely to drink enough. So you've got to have it with you. But water is ideal, tea and coffee are fine, but you need to be mindful of what's in that. Calories, added sugars will wreak havoc on your body. Black coffee, tea, perfectly fine. The Frappucinos, caramel macchiatos, that's going to give you a little bit too much from a sugar standpoint, and when we look at caffeine, early in the day it's fine, late afternoon, even if you feel like you're not affected by caffeine and you can get to sleep, it's the quality of sleep that is affected by the caffeine. Caffeine takes a while to leave your system, so then if you're having caffeine late in the day, it can disrupt the quality of sleep that you get.
And then the last big one, you're on the road a lot, and as you're on the road, I know a lot of you will rely on restaurants and fast food, so some tips. One, keep in mind, if you're getting post-game meals with the team, you did not do the intense workout, the competition, the number of calories that the athletes were burning, so since you're not the collegiate athlete, 18- to 21-year-old high metabolism athlete, you don't need to eat like them. So as you're getting their postgame meal, you need to scale back on that quantity. But as you're eating at a restaurant, look for key words: Grilled, roasted, baked, broiled, and stay away from those breaded and fried items. Definitely order grilled chicken when you're on the road. That's going to be one of your leanest, highest quality proteins that you'll be able to get, and as you're more sedentary, you don't need the carbohydrates that the athletes do. That's a fuel for them, so instead of getting fries, for instance, if you're at a fast food place, substitute it for a side salad, substitute it for veggies if that's an option. Avoid the cream-based sauces and condiments. Hot sauce and mustard are free. Go for it. They have benefits of their own, but they're not adding extra calories for it. Make sure, again, you've filled up on fluids, and then be very, very cautious of restaurant sizes. A typical portion of pasta is about a cup, and usually restaurant portions give you three cups. So be mindful of that, and if you're at a sit-down place and you know they have large portion sizes, ask for the to-go box first and then cut your meal in half, put it in the to-go box. Since it's out of sight, you're less likely to keep munching on it as you wait for your check.
That's what I have for you today, so I'm open for whatever questions you want to throw my way.
Q. One of the tougher parts of our job is having our meals dictated, as we've talked about, by our teams while on the road. This person has a conference in NCAA swimming championship coming up soon, and those days include some big breakfasts and lunch and late-night dinners back at the hotel, not to mention the snacks in the hospitality area. Aside from the sheer will power, how do we strike a nutrition and exercise balance on those days?
RANDY BIRD: Sure. Two of the food types that help maintain your satiety, maintain your ability to control yourself are proteins and then healthy fat sources. So I know at a lot of swim events, they like having trail mix around, and nuts are an excellent source of healthy fat that will help fill you up. So the key there is really making sure we focus on your protein source. So a lot of swim meets I've been to, they have on ice things like Greek yogurt. So having that and a handful of nuts and then getting a piece of fruit, having that as a snack. What I would do is honestly set an alarm on your watch, so then you have -- or your phone. That way you have a timer of, okay, this is when I should be eating, and you build the schedule beforehand, so you can set the timer in to work around your schedule of when events are going to be happening.
So again, it takes planning, and all of nutrition requires planning, so this is a big piece, especially when you're on the road, is looking ahead of time at the schedule and planning when you're going to eat, and then you know the foods available, so then one of the bigger problems is when you're sitting in your area and they keep bringing food, it's harder to avoid it. So the more you can stay away and do your work away from where food is just sitting around, the better. It's real easy -- same recommendations. When I'm doing recommendations for people going to holiday parties, don't congregate at the food area, because as you talk, you're just going to be mindlessly eating what's there. So the same thing is going to happen when you're doing your work. If you're surrounded by a buffet, then you're going to be mindlessly grabbing food just because it's there. So if you're able to work away from where the food is, that's even better.
Q. Another question would be, we talked about our jobs, for lack of a better word, we're sitting a lot. Have you spoken to people about getting those stand-up desks where you're not sitting all the time and you can be a little bit more mobile?
RANDY BIRD: Yes. Sitting, a lot of research now is looking at the detriments to sitting and how that is more detrimental than a lot of the, quote-unquote, bad foods that we eat. So stand-up desks would be awesome. I've even seen the desks that have a treadmill attached to them that's going at a half a mile an hour. So not moving really fast, but you are moving. The more that we're standing up, the better. So if you can operate on a standing desk, that would be ideal. Otherwise what I would do is do one better than what the apple watches have, is set a timer for every 30 minutes to get up and walk around a little bit. As you do that, that actually stimulates better brain function and will allow you to be more alert and concentrate at your job. And then as you do that, you're going to have less side effects of sitting. A lot of the side effects are physical such as shortening of your hip flexors, which then can wreak havoc on your low back. So you'll have a lot of stiffness and pain around your hips and low back if you remain seated all the time and don't get up and move around. But that's where a standing desk would work that musculature better and you'd have less of those complications. Yeah, if you can get a standing desk, that would be a great addition to your job.
NICK GUERRIERO: Thank you, Randy. I appreciate you taking some time. Our next presenter is Jeff Milroy. He's the associate director at the Institute to Promote Athlete Health and Wellness at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, who's going to talk to us today about the importance of wellness in the industry and what it takes to change some of your bad habits.
JEFFREY MILROY: Just a quick tidbit just because of that last question of standing. So I've been thinking about that a lot because I sit a lot as a researcher and a scientist, and I don't have a space in which I'm able to get a standing desk, the ones -- like a Varidesk or something like that that goes up and down really easily. So what I've transitioned to is one kind of that -- I think it's a good suggestion by Randy, by getting up every so often, but then also having something aside my desk that I can just put my laptop on. Some of us have places where we can get one of those standing desks and some of us don't. So I'm able to work on my laptop to the side, so that's another way to think about that, as well. It's a great question.
So when I was preparing for today, I was thinking about what was going to be the most helpful, and some of my background is in wellness coaching, so I'm a certified wellness coach. I'm an assistant professor in public health education. A lot of the work that I do with the institute to promote athlete health and wellness is actually development of behavior interventions for athletes, whether they be current student athletes, high school youth athletes. We also work with those that have kind of transitioned out of collegiate athletes and are moving on, so to speak. So when I started thinking about it, I was like, what type of help can I actually give in this particular type of webinar that I think is going to be useful.
So I went back to actually my wellness coaching training, and I thought to myself, okay, if I was going to sit down with a client, what would I do with them. And so a lot of what wellness coaching is is it builds in strategies for motivational interviewing. So a lot of it's really allowing the individual to guide the conversation. So we can't really do that right now in this didactic form of a webinar. Maybe some of the questions will help out afterwards. So what I thought I'd do is I'd develop six questions that all of us can use and can consider in terms of making some of those healthy behavior choices in our lives.
So the first question: What change could occur? So we're all sitting right now or maybe we're standing at our laptops or computers, and maybe we have an idea of what are some of the things that need to change in your life with regards to healthy behaviors, whether it's nutrition, physical activity, sleep. Maybe you want to integrate more meditation or healthy conscious breathing or mindfulness. There's lots of different things. But maybe some of us are sitting there, and we don't really know where to start. Maybe it's the big ones we always think about, nutrition and physical activity, which are obviously super important, right? We just learned a lot from Randy and the importance of nutrition.
But what you can also do is you can actually go to -- there's tons of them online. You just have to be careful kind of where they're coming from the legitimacy of where they're coming from, so I put the link here. I know you can't access it, but what it is is it's a personal wellness assessment that you can do and actually you can print it off and you fill out each section and there's different sections throughout. It takes about physical activity and it talks about sleep and it talks about all these different dimensions of wellness in our lives, and you kind of identify one by one and you score it, and it gives you a nice snapshot of what's going on for you, quote-unquote, in your life right now, so you might answer this and find out, hmm, maybe you're not doing so bad nutritionally, so to speak, and maybe sleep is something that you want to focus on.
And so that's what I would want everybody or ask everybody to do is ask yourselves, okay, what change could occur right now? What are some of the things I would be interested in? So that moves to the next thing: What is it that I want to change? So we have this nice wellness inventory or this wellness profile that you complete, and now you're saying, okay, it says that I should be getting more physical activity, and then you look at that and you say, well, I'm not really interested in going in that direction, and I think that's completely fair. I'm not saying that you should ignore it and you should move on, but if I was sitting down with one of my clients, and they said, yeah, I thought about that, but one of the things I've been thinking about a lot lately is meditation. Well, I'm not going to tell that client, no, no, no, forget meditation. Let's actually stick to sleep or let's stick to physical activity because that's what the profile says and that's what's most important. I don't think it's all that helpful, and in fact, when I look at my clients who they choose what they want to change, they're more likely to stick to it. There's a lot more autonomy there. They own that. It's their decision to move forward.
I would then use the second question to think about what are some of your desires right now, what are some of the things that you're interested in changing, what are the things that you would be more likely to follow through on, and I think that's the important piece of it right there.
So the next question, the third question, how ready am I to change. So again, there's a lot of ways that you can find out how ready you are to change. Some might just say, it says physical activity, but I'm not interested, and so it is what it is. Maybe there are some things that you might want to do to become more interested. Maybe it's reading some articles or checking out some things online and just learning more about physical activity.
As former athletes as many of you may be, we always tend to think that physical activity in particular, that you have to work as hard as possible and you have to hurt afterwards, but that's not necessarily the case, and American College of Sports Medicine has their recommendations, and a lot of it doesn't mean that you have to go out and run five miles each day.
So when you're thinking about how ready I am to change, what comes to mind for me is a theory, so stage-of-change theory, sometimes considered or called the transtheoretical model. And what it looks at is these multiple stages, and really the most important is like are you in pre-contemplation or contemplation, and that's two levels in which, okay, I'm thinking about this, I'm thinking about this change, and in particular, knowing that about yourself is actually really helpful when you start to set those goals.
So before I move on to that fourth question, so some people look to online assessments that are available. You can pick a behavior and then do the assessment in terms of what change stage you're in. Some look to reflecting with another person, so when I work with my clients, that's what we do together is we reflect on, hey, how ready are you to do this, is this something you want to get into, what's your commitment level like on this. And then some look to introspection, so just knowing ourselves, you know yourself better than anybody else, and say, okay, this is an area that I think is really important to me, and I'm actually ready to do something about that. I'm ready to change. I'm ready to integrate that into my kind of daily life.
So then what are your goals? We shouldn't set lofty goals. I'm totally guilty of this. I think about -- you get into the new year, and I'm like, you know what, I'm going to go to the gym five days a week. Well, I don't go to the gym five days a week now, and at the time, I was going maybe once, maybe none over several weeks, and there's no way that I'm going to jump and just say, okay, that's it, I'm going five days a week, and then what happens in week 2 is I only go two days, and now I feel bad about it because I didn't make that five-day mark. And so we can't be too lofty with the goals that we set for ourselves. So I think you want to be incremental, and what I mean by that is we're using physical activity as an example.
Okay, I haven't gone to the gym a lot or I haven't got physical activity a lot because you don't have to go to the gym, you can go for a walk or something else that's different from that, right, and I say, okay, I'd like to be physically active twice this week, and that's what I'm going to shoot for. I think that's a pretty good goal for myself.
And when I think about using many of these -- many of you have probably heard of them, SMART goals, specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound. So I say, okay, for the next four weeks, I'm going to be physically active for at least 20 minutes a day, and that to me -- what I'm going to do is I'm actually going to use walking as my physical activity, so I'm being specific. It's measurable in terms of whether I can accomplish that or not or the time. Is it achievable? I think that's achievable to me if I'm thinking about how ready I am to change. Is it results focused? So what I'm going to do is I'm going to make sure I'm trying to get that two per week, right, those are my results in mind. And my setup to that four-week or that two-week time-bound, not like, okay, for the rest of my life I'm going to act this way. If we don't put it in specific time-bound we're not able to see kind of those measures along the way which are really important.
We can say the same thing about sleep. So you can't say right now that if you're a person that gets five to six hours of sleep each night, you know what, I'm going to try to get 10 hours of sleep each night, and if you're like me, I've got kids at home. I have a lot going on at work. I have a social like; I like to hang out with friends. That's not just going to -- I'm not going to get 10 hours of sleep each night. So I have to set my goals that are achievable for me and incrementally set up that maybe I can improve on them over time.
I also have to think about who can help me. So in a lot of cases we can't do everything on our own, right, and so we need to look to someone as an accountability partner, and there's lots of ways that you can do that. I mentioned I was a wellness coach and I was actively working with clients for a pretty significant part of my career, and so I was acting as a bit of an accountability partner for them, and it was on a variety of topics, and I was just there to check in with them. You don't have to have a wellness coach, of course. It might be a partner, it might be a friend, it might be a coworker, it might be somebody who's in the cubicle or the office next to you, that you're saying, hey, look, this is something I'm going to try, I want to keep you in the loop on it, could you ask me about it every once in a while. Maybe it's by email. And it's a nice way to have a bit of an accountability partner.
There are also ways online that you can be a part of different group-based challenges, if you will, or maybe it's office-based challenges or whatever it might be, and then you kind of have this -- maybe it's a little bit of a competition, that sort of thing, and it adds that accountability piece because we can know ourselves so well, I can easily convince myself not to go for that walk. You know what, there's just so much going on right now, I need to get this done before I do this, and I've got a busy night, so I'm just going to kind of plug through and I'm not going to worry about that. I can convince myself to do that very easily.
And so having somebody that you might be able to check in with or they might be able to check in with you is really helpful.
And then the last piece is how am I doing, right, so setting points along the way that you can check in with yourself or maybe it's with the accountability partner and doing a lot of evaluation. So using sleep as an example, I want to sleep eight hours a night, that's my goal, and I want to do that for the next two weeks and see how that goes, and maybe I'm even going to track that over time.
So at the end of those two weeks, I'm going to look at that and say, okay, it looks like on average I was getting maybe about seven or seven and a half hours of sleep, and that's not bad, and I'm happy with that because before I was only getting five or six hours of sleep and wasn't feeling as well.
So then I kind of look back to that notion of introspection, and I say, okay, what is it about those particular nights that I didn't -- that brought that average down, right? What was going on during that day or what did I do that evening or how did I set myself up for a good night's sleep that night, and start journaling a little bit or making notes of those things along the way can help you say, okay, this is why I didn't succeed or this is why I did succeed. This is why this time when I did this, I put this goal in front of me, I was actually able to do that for two weeks, and it's because I had someone working with me or I had an accountability partner, and I was setting myself up to have a good night's sleep each night.
Again, just as a reminder, these are the six questions I think would be really helpful for everybody to ask themselves what change could occur, what is it that I want to change, and how ready am I to change, what are my goals, who's going to help me with that and checkpoints along the way to say, how am I doing, are there things I can do better or things I can change to make myself more successful. That's all I have right now, so I'm open to questions.
Q. Obviously with our industry there's a lot of times where we're traveling late at night, and you talked about making like a routine for yourself. How does one hold themselves accountable if say you're supposed to work out every Tuesday and Thursday, maybe you come home late on a Monday night and you're just kind of down in the dumps and kind of keep working out and keep staying healthy?
JEFFREY MILROY: I think it's building in those contingency plans. You know what, don't beat yourself up if you're supposed to work out on Tuesdays and Thursdays and something happens at the office or with travel and you don't get to do that workout. Don't beat yourself up. I think that's the -- that's really important for us to say at the end of that day: I didn't get a chance to be physically active today, and the reasons were XYZ and I'm all right with that, and you know what, I'm not supposed to work out, based on my plan, on Fridays, but I'm going to try to do that tomorrow. So I think just being flexible with real life and the things that can get in the way.
I traveled last week and I had a lot of delays with my plane because of some snow in Greensboro, and there were some things I didn't actually get to do that day. Physical activity was one, and I didn't eat as well as I wanted to b because I was in an airport, but I looked back and I said, I did the best that I could in that time that I had, and I'll move on to tomorrow and hopefully I can do a little bit better then.
Q. You talked about accountability, as well, within your offices. A lot of us work with strength and conditioning coaches and athletic trainers. How important are those folks within your department to maybe help you, as well?
JEFFREY MILROY: I think critical, depending on the way that you look at it, but I think critical. I'm not interacting with strength and conditioning coaches frequently, athletic trainers for that matter. I have a lot of people around me that are public health education that have expertise in those areas or not, but I think just the camaraderie that you can create with people around you and that accountability, so as an example, for me, my blood pressure is high both genetically but based on some of my own behaviors, the things that I eat, and I let a few people know in my department, in my office around me that I had high blood pressure and I was really trying to work on that, and every once in a while they'd check in and say, hey, how's it going. Not like, hey, is your blood pressure low yet or -- right, but they're just checking in to say, how's it going. I say, today is a stressful day, all I want to do is go eat four pieces of pizza, and one of them says -- they don't say, hey, don't do that, but they say, hey, I'm actually going over somewhere else, do you want to join me. And it's just this nice kind of check-in.
Now, totally different from that is I have a friend that's in our kinesiology department, and they've put together like a workout group. Again, we're kind of focusing on physical activity a little bit here, but they've put together a little bit of a workout boot camp group that one of them runs. They all go, they hang out. It's really great for getting to know your colleagues a little bit better outside of the office, and they go do their thing, and they do it over a lunch period and then that's that. I think there's just different ways of having an accountability partner, particularly maybe somebody at the office since we're spending a lot of time with them that can be really helpful.
NICK GUERRIERO: Our final presenter is no stranger to wellness in our industry, and that's Jeremy Rosenthal, the assistant media relations director at Indiana and the vice-chair of the CoSIDA goodwill and wellness committee. He'll talk about his experiences as an SID, a runner, and what's in store for the upcoming convention in D.C. Welcome, Jeremy.
JEREMY ROSENTHAL: So yeah, I think Randy and Jeff did a great job talking about some nutrition and talking about some ways there with accountability to make a change and to do some good stuff there.
So I'm going to talk a little bit about some initiatives of the goodwill and wellness committee that I've been a part of for the now eight years that I've been in this profession, and when I was first coming up, it was great to be involved in something like this, and Sam Atkinson and Ryan Klinkner were heading it up, and they did a great job.
For those of you that have been at the convention and have been involved in some of our things like the charity 5K run and walk and the community service project, those are some of the things that we've been involved in. And one of the things that I want to share today is a new initiative, a new idea that's not finalized yet but still in the planning stages and hoping to get some feedback in the coming days from membership. I've already got a lot of good feedback and a lot of interest in this, so something I hope to talk about with the fitness challenge idea.
So to start with, just going back to the 5K run/walk, this is a picture up there from last year. We had over 200 people come out and participate in this 5K charity run/walk that we raised money for Samaritan's Feet and did a shoe drive for kids from low income families in the Orlando area, and that was a really nice event and kind of promoting health and wellness and getting people out and socializing with each other and just a really fun event.
The more I kind of thought about the 5K event and promoting a healthy lifestyle, as that's the main goal of our committee within CoSIDA and just for our membership in general, I started thinking about what could we do that's a more long-term approach to fitness. So we've got this great 5K, but at the end of the day, it's just one 5K, one event, one day, so I thought what could we do to kind of promote more of a long-term approach to fitness. So that's kind of where the idea of the fitness challenge came from.
So these are some goals for the fitness challenge. So as I said, it started with this 5K and trying to create a more long-term approach to fitness, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle in our membership in a profession that you know we all work long hours, we're sometimes subject to not easy the most healthy foods. I'm sitting in our pressroom right now where I can tell you many a boxes of Papa John's pizza have been consumed by me and others. So working on that. Bringing people together to create an online community of support. I think this is critical. I think Jeffrey really nailed it with talking about accountability and talking about checking in and encouraging people.
So I'm hoping with this idea for the fitness challenge to be able to create that online community of support where people see others are doing it, and if this many people are doing it and they work in the same kind of job that I do, I can do it, too, and also I can encourage and motivate others to be involved and create that accountability.
And then just having something fun to do that's going to be really beneficial for you.
So those were some of the goals of the fitness challenge.
So a little bit more kind of basics with kind of the idea. Again, you see a lot of pictures of running. These are from the 5K. This challenge is not going to be solely running, and I don't want it to be just running. People have different activities that they like doing, so this is going to be a challenge based on minutes per week of physical activity, and as it says there, physical activity could be anything from walking, jogging, biking, lifting, any kind of physical activity that you want to do, and again, going back to what Jeffrey was saying and taking kind of those incremental steps and being able to track and monitor what you do, I think that'll be important for this.
Another part of this will be different groups. So I talked to some different people, and they thought this idea was good to be able to kind of break this down into different groups because not everybody is going to be starting at the same place. Some people are already very active, while others aren't as active. So I think having a variety of different groups, you can say, I want to start at the beginner group and just get that 1.25 hours, that 75 minutes a week. Maybe you're somebody that wants to kind of shoot for something a little bit more. So you can have these different levels, and also an additional idea is to kind of break up into groups or teams and have like people at the different levels so you can have people to go to within the fitness challenge, again, for accountability and to motivate each other.
So some more kind of just ideas along those lines for kind of how this would be laid out, looking at a sign-up in early February, so within the next few weeks. Having a small registration fee -- I think for a couple reasons. I think having a registration fee kind of makes you more motivated to do it, and also there is an idea for a charitable component, which I'll talk about here in a minute. So the idea is for a 12-week program, so again, kind of focusing on a specific time range here, so something starting in March and going into June. Again, this isn't finalized but this is kind of a rough idea of what it would be, so that would kind of go right into around the time of the convention.
In terms of tracking physical activity, my idea for that is there's an app called Strava, which is a fitness app, which you can track activity and you can track any kind of physical activity. They have a menu of like 20 different options that you can get on there, log your physical activity as you go. Another idea is to have a Facebook group, so again, accountability, posting pictures, messages of motivation to encourage other people as this goes along.
So the charitable component, my idea with this, and I've had some preliminary conversations, I think there's a natural kind of fit with encouraging health and wellness and working with the American Cancer Society and coaches versus cancer is a program that a lot of us are familiar with and have worked on right now in college basketball. It's suits-and-sneakers week, so you see a lot of coaches wearing suits and sneakers, and the person that kind of started about this idea with, with the American Cancer Society, is a former SID that a lot of people probably know, Margaret Belcher. She is now working for the American Cancer Society and is someone that I've kind of talked to about this idea.
So those are some of the points about the fitness challenge. So again, I'd love to hear feedback on this if you want to reach out to me. I think my email is on the slide there, or it's just JR359@Indiana.edu. If you have any ideas or any feedback, you love it, you hate it, you have ideas on maybe how to make it better, I'd love to hear them.
Transitioning here, talking about another kind of aspect of wellness, something our committee also focuses on is community service, and that's been a part of our activity at the CoSIDA convention, doing different -- you see some pictures up there on the screen. Some of those are from the convention in Dallas when we worked with the Miracle League and kids with special needs and baseball, and so we've done some different service projects with that. So again, in kind of the theme of creating a more kind of long-term kind of approach to health and wellness, we have come up with volunteer 15 program for our members, and this next slide will kind of highlight some of the points of the Volunteer 15 program.
For more information on the program, there's the link up there, just CoSIDA.com/volunteer15, so some of the points here, initiative to recognize CoSIDA members for their involvement in community service and in local communities, so this is a program that goes through the whole school year, and we encourage members to volunteer for 15 hours through the course of the school year. There's an online program where you can track your hours, and there's a bunch of different suggestions on there of how you can be involved in your community, and if you're curious, if you've logged hours, you don't know how many hours you've logged or you have any other questions about a program within our committee, Megan Hardin is kind of the contact, the coordinator for the Volunteer 15 program, so her email address is down there at the bottom, as well. If you have any additional questions.
It's been a great program. We had, I want to say, 4,000 or 5,000 total hours, something like that, logged for the CoSIDA membership in the 16-17 academic school year. So there's a lot of people out there doing really great things in their community, and we encourage people to get involved in their community, and that's another great aspect of wellness, going out and being involved in the community, just a great thing to be involved with.
So I think that's about all I have. So yeah, just talking about some of the things we have going on in our committee and looking forward to the fitness challenge, and we will have also the 5K again in Washington, D.C. We're excited about that. We've got preliminary plans for a great course that's going to run right along the water outside of the hotel there, and I think it's going to be really fun. I think that's about all I have. I'll take any questions if there are any.
Q. Just talking about the 5K in D.C., how will it be different from running in Orlando and Dallas where with Orlando we were closer toward golf courses and stuff, where in D.C. it's more of a city like?
JEREMY ROSENTHAL: Sure, yeah. I think the course is going to be on a walking/bike path, so kind of a pavement kind of trail, similar to -- actually similar to kind of the golf course like running on a cart path, running on a sidewalk. I think that's going to be really scenic. I haven't been there to see it, but from what I understand, it runs along the water, and it's a really nice kind of path that's been used for different events, and people enjoy getting out there and using it. So I think it's going to be really good.
We've got great support for the event this year. We're planning to continue to have the race be professionally timed and have awards and just be a great celebration of health and wellness.
We also think we're going to be able to start it a little bit later this year, so kind of -- we know the 6:00 a.m., 6:30 start is a little bit early for some people, so we're hoping to move that back a little bit. But again, I think it was very telling seeing how many people got up at 6:00 a.m. and came out. We had over 200 people this past year, so that was really great to see, and hopefully we can have even more this year.
NICK GUERRIERO: It's 5,679 hours that were logged on the Volunteer 15 program last year, so thanks to everybody who took time to help out with that.
We'll wrap this one up, and we'd like to thank each of our presenters for giving their time today. We continue to appreciate CapitalOne's ongoing sponsorship of the continuing ed series. The recording of today's webinar, the ASAP Sports FastScript, and the presentation you saw today will be available for on-demand use exclusively for our CoSIDA online community, CoSIDA Connect later today. As always, we invite all attendees to submit any additional questions for further discussion at CoSIDA Connect, and all of CoSIDA's continuing education and resource library materials are available for members on CoSIDA Connect.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports