By MATT CRANE
The Mississippi State University student body is getting into shape.
MSU on the Move, a program focused on promoting a healthier atmosphere and environment on the MSU campus, kicked off its semester-long initiative with health screenings and a Drill Field celebration ceremony.
Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Kibler said over 100 people participated in the health screenings, tests taken at the beginning and end of the a nine-week exercise and nutrition program MSU on the Move sponsors.
“We have one goal at MSU: to the be the healthiest campus in the country,” Kibler said. “MSU continues to take steps to benefit all of you.”
During the free screenings which took place Monday morning, participants obtained results for a variety of health information, including blood pressure, body mass index, glucose level, cholesterol and waist circumference.
Kibler recognized the generous efforts of Sheila Grogan, executive director of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation, who was instrumental in awarding the university over $500,000 to build a 1-mile walking track around Chadwick Lake.
“Our foundation provides targeted gifts to help Mississippians become healthier,” Grogan said. “The choices you’re making as college students can have an impact on your lives in the future.”
Grogan said she applauded Starkville’s efforts. The city was named a 2011 Mississippi Healthiest Hometown for stepping up to the plate and encouraging a healthier community.
“We all have a choice about our health and wellness … take advantage of the opportunity to be healthy,” she said. “Starkville definitely has that as does this university.”
Grogan said the information participants gained from the screenings was vital to knowing one’s health status.
“It’s so important that we know our BMI, cholesterol and glucose,” she said. “When you know these numbers, you know what your health looks like and what you need to do to take care of yourself.”
Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin stressed the importance of exercise and living healthy, as well as predicting the walking track around Chadwick Lake would become the backyard of the university.
“The difference (exercise) makes in your life is unbelievable,” Stricklin said. “I can’t stress enough what a great opportunity we have on this campus.”
Director of University Health Services Bob Collins said the MSU on the Move program contained many different components including a necessary nutritional element.
“We’ll have people teaching people how to eat right,” Collins said. “They can show you the proper way to prepare food.”
The first cooking demonstration will take place Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 1-2 p.m. at the Starkville Sportsplex.
Collins said students needed to realize the importance of their choices in this particular time of their lives.
“You are on the cusp of a time when you need to make these changes in your life,” he said.
For more information about MSU on the Move, visit http://www.msuonthemove.msstate.edu .