Starting the year off right

The Live Healthy Liberty initiative continues with its second semester of competition

Liberty University kicked off its Live Healthy initiative for the spring 2016 semester and has many different events lined up to help the students and faculty to meet their goals and resolutions.

Lift — Student use weightlifting to help them stay in shape in the new year. Curtis Pierce

At the start of a new year people will begin to make New Year’s resolutions to create a change in themselves. For most, their resolution for the new year is to lose weight and to eat right.

“The best way to ensure you stick to your New Year’s resolution is to make sure you are doing something you enjoy,” Associate Director of the LaHaye Student Union Jamie Swyers said. “The key is getting people to find a form of exercise that is fun or something that also connects you to others and forms a community.”

On Jan. 18 the Live Healthy initiative launched its second semester of its Wellness initiative. The initiative is a competition between students and faculty to create a fun way of becoming healthy.

“This initiative is a fun way to build a community and connect individuals with the programs that promote holistic wellness,” Swyers said. “Physical wellness is only one aspect. Mental and spiritual wellness are also emphasized.”

The Live Healthy initiative has several meetings that students and faculty members can attend in order to gain points in their goals. There is also a new initiative created to get students and faculty moving.

“We are implementing a six week Fitbit program this semester,” Swyers said. “You can also do the standard semester-long initiative as well.”

Throughout the semester, the Live Healthy initiative will provide several opportunities for students and faculty to attend the Wellness Series, a series of meetings with various topics on how to handle a dilemma while trying to meet their goals.
Once participants register for the initiative online, they will be directed to an online portal.

“In this online portal, participants will track exercise, earn points for nutrition and wellness tasks, as well as attending any of Liberty’s 80 plus wellness events throughout the semester,” Swyers said.

The Live Healthy initiative offers wellness series presentations to inspire students, faculty and staff to make healthy lifestyle choices. The first event was held Tuesday, Jan. 19, and was called “New Year’s Nutrition: Setting Your 2016 Nutrition Goals” by Kristina DiSanto, a registered dietitian on campus.

As a student, money can be tight while wanting to be healthy and go to a gym. When participating in the Live Healthy initiative, students and faculty are given resources on how to afford food and the costs of gyms.

“Students at Liberty University are offered many resources to help them meet their goals at little or no cost to them,” Swyers said. “There are cooking demos and tips for eating healthy at the dining halls, a large fitness and recreational facility, group exercise and affordable personal training services, not to mention the numerous resources, small groups and support that Student Counseling Services and campus pastors provide to support students’ mental and spiritual health.”

A problem that a goal setter may encounter is the goals they create for themselves are too big, which will cause students to give up after a brief period of time. The Live Healthy initiative teaches goal setters to make easy goals they can accomplish and not give up on.

“When setting a goal, you want to make sure it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound (S.M.A.R.T.),” Swyers said. “This will help you avoid setting yourself up for failure as well as put a timeline on your goal to keep you accountable.”

Students and faculty are also able to have contact with personal trainers through the LaHaye Student Union to learn the best ways to work out that fit their personal lifestyle.

“If the student and/or faculty member sign up for personal training, their trainer will guide them through a customized workout program catered to their specific needs and goals,” Swyers said.

For more information about the Live Healthy initiative or the Wellness Tracker, visit

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