Liberty University is committed to encouraging healthy lifestyles for its students, faculty, and staff, and has become a wellness leader in the local community. As an active supporter of Live Healthy Lynchburg, a local campaign sponsored by the city of Lynchburg (Va.), Liberty participates in events that promote overall wellness, including many fitness challenges.
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The second annual Strive for 5 Challenge, which encourages people to work out for at least 30 minutes five days a week, is currently underway. Last year Team Liberty posted more hours than any other organization in its category, with more than 2,200 hours logged between April and June. The university hopes to see even more individuals take on the challenge this year and, more importantly, to see more lives transformed because of it.
This summer Liberty faculty and staff will take on the third annual 100 Mile Challenge, which encourages individuals to log 100 (or more) miles between June 1 and Sept. 27. Last year, Liberty was named the winner for total miles. The challenge ends with the historic Genworth Virginia 10 Miler race in downtown Lynchburg — which also includes a 4-mile run and 4-mile walk — where Team Liberty hopes to win its third straight corporate challenge.
Liberty’s campus is well equipped to promote a healthy lifestyle for everyone. This includes a diverse and extensive Campus Recreation department, which offers several activities and facilities to develop an active lifestyle. There is something for everyone, and many activities are open to the public, including skiing, tubing, and snowboarding at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, as well as hiking trails, ice skating, and rock climbing.
Liberty’s primary workout facility, the LaHaye Student Union, is currently undergoing a massive renovation, which will add 67,000 square feet of new space while updating another 19,000 square feet of existing space. Employees are offered free access during certain hours.
To help people make wise eating choices on its campus, Liberty and Sodexo, the school’s dining services provider, offer plenty of tasty, healthy alternatives. Reber-Thomas Dining Hall includes a special Simple Servings station that offers minimally processed meals prepared without gluten or seven of the eight most common food allergens. The station helped earn Sodexo the Best Wellness Concept award from Food Management magazine. A registered campus dietitian is available for consultation and also leads wellness seminars, cooking classes, and a Daniel Plan weight-management class.
Sodexo has also partnered with MyFitnessPal, a free app for counting calories and monitoring diet and exercise. Liberty’s overall wellness efforts helped it become the third healthiest college in the country last year.