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NMSU invites campus community members to join virtual Chancellor Walk

New Mexico State University is inviting all campus community members to walk a mile this month in support of the third annual Chancellor Walk.

Man signs a proclamation
New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu signs a proclamation declaring October as Exercise is Medicine on Campus Month. As part of the initiative, NMSU is hosting a virtual Chancellor Walk and encouraging all campus community members to walk one mile this month. (NMSU photo by Josh Bachman)

This year’s walk is a virtual event organized by the Department of Public Health Sciences, the Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education Program, and the Aggie Health and Wellness Center. Unlike in previous years, participants can join this year’s walk on their own time and set their own pace.

The annual walk is part of a global wellness initiative called Exercise is Medicine on Campus. To kick off the initiative at NMSU, Chancellor Dan Arvizu recently signed a proclamation declaring October as Exercise is Medicine on Campus Month.

“It is similar to our traditional campus Chancellor Walk, but this year we’re going virtual,” said Cindy Kratzke, associate professor of public health who helped coordinate this year’s walk.

“Walk one mile indoors or outdoors, walk your dog, or break up the distance over a few days. A one-mile walk is about 2,000 steps for adults,” Kratzke added. “Walk with a few friends, family or by yourself – but please follow social distancing guidelines to keep each other safe.”

Organizers are introducing a new component this year from College of Health and Social Services Interim Dean Sonya Cooper, who is challenging other deans to promote the walk with their students, staff and faculty members.

“This is a friendly competition for deans to build community within their college and promote the Chancellor Walk registration,” Kratzke said. “Dean Cooper is passionate about how Aggies can connect in October with this challenge.”

Organizers are asking all participants to sign up at https://wave.nmsu.edu by Oct. 24 and document their walks on social media, using the hashtag #NMSUMoves. When participants register with their NMSU email, they’ll have the option of entering their name for a chance to win prizes, including wireless headphones, a Hydro Flask and a WAVE swag bag.

“A big benefit to hosting a virtual event is that it expands to Aggies who are not physically in Las Cruces and the surrounding areas,” said Olivia De Leon, director of the WAVE Program. “We are encouraging Aggies from afar to participate. Being apart enables us to share different geographic locations and creates a sense of wonder. It’s a pretty powerful thing to think about. We might not be on campus together, but it’s a way to engage in a new way.”

WAVE also is producing a 90-second video featuring Pistol Pete and other Aggies engaging in wellness activities for the 2020 Exercise is Medicine on Campus Mascot Challenge Video.

NMSU joins more than 250 universities worldwide in hosting health and wellness walks in October as part of Exercise is Medicine on Campus, which engages students, faculty and staff at universities across the world in ongoing efforts to improve physical fitness, health and wellness.

NMSU was the first university in New Mexico to participate in the Exercise is Medicine on Campus and currently has a silver-level recognition from the organization.

For more information about this year’s Chancellor Walk, email wave@nmsu.edu.