Through the entire month of March, the Leslie C. Quick, Jr. Recreation Complex will hold its annual Stags Go Move Challenge, a fitness competition intended to keep Fairfield University students active and engaged with their physical and mental well-being.
From March 1 to March 31, 2023, participants will track their daily minutes of “movement” on the Stags Go Move website. “Movement” is defined as “any intentional exercise that causes at least a small increase in breathing or heart rate,” as stated on the challenge’s FAQ page.
Any exercise that entails cardio, strength and resistance, yoga and pilates and sports and fitness will count towards qualifying minutes of movement. Whether you enjoy pacing the treadmill, practicing your downward dog or hitting the courts for intramural basketball, this challenge is for you.
The Stags Go Move Challenge was adopted in 2021; Danielle Anderson, the RecPlex’s Coordinator of Memberships and Operations and head of the challenge, says that it is meant to “encourage movement and well-being at all fitness levels.”
“Moving has many mental and physical benefits,” she said, “and the challenge encourages participants to move more.”
The competition is open to all full-time and part-time university students, and getting involved only requires a few, simple steps. On the Stags Go Move website, students can sign up through their university emails and begin directly tracking their exercise.
Students also have the opportunity to sign up as a team as opposed to individually. Anderson suggests that forming a team provides an “additional level of competition and comradery.”
The maximum number of students allowed on a team is six, and their minutes are shown in the team section. Despite inputting time as a team, however, group minutes are only counted as one submission.
Once a student or team is ready to submit their minutes, they are asked to include the type of exercise that was performed, as well as the amount of time it was performed for.
Aside from attaining a healthy body and mind, students can get rewarded for their participation throughout the month. Each week, a winner will be selected at random to receive a prize, which can include items like AirPod Pros, Bluetooth speakers, custom t-shirts and baseball caps, various exercise equipment, Stag Bucks and gift certificates. Names are chosen from a digital wheel, and all students who input their minutes are automatically entered into the raffle.
Opportunities to increase one’s winning odds do exist. By creating and managing a team, following @fairfieldurecreation on Instagram, and posting pictures of their workouts using the hashtag “StagsOnTheMove,” students can up their chances of being recognized for their physical commitment.
Brynn Murphy ‘25 commented on her positive experience with the Stags Go Move Challenge. In line with its intended goals, she said she felt encouraged not only to work out daily, but to stay motivated.
“I think the challenge was a great experience because my friends and I would remind each other to go to the gym or go on a walk and record it, which was a great bonding experience for us and just so much fun,” she proclaimed.
Moreover, she included that the possibility of prizes added to her motivation. She reminisced about the jump rope that she won, as well as the massage gun that her friend won, as evidence of that appealing aspect and the true joy of the challenge.
Additional perks of this challenge lie in its accessibility and inclusivity. Students are welcome to input minutes anytime, anywhere – and not solely on university grounds. There is also no limitation on the daily number of minutes, so students are encouraged to rack up those exercise points and achieve due credit.
In the case that a student forgets to log their minutes, they are able to go back into the website and, under “Log Workout,” input their information for previous days. Under the “workouts” tab, a student can view their workout history and figure out which days they have logged their exercise.
With spring break just around the corner, the Stags Go Move Challenge comes at a perfect time. One of the competition’s major elements focuses on keeping students active throughout their week off from school.
While other players cannot see one’s individual workouts, the website’s homepage utilizes true, competitive nature by displaying the growing total minutes and average minutes for each class, graduate students and part-time students.
The competition also hosts a leaderboard in which students can view their own name among others. If a student sets their profile as “private,” only their first name will be visible on the board.
In previous years, Stags Go Move Challenge has been rather popular, and its numbers continue to grow. According to Anderson, in 2021, 313 students registered and 240 students participated. In 2022, 393 students registered and 359 students participated.
Fairfield University’s RecPlex remains dedicated to a healthy mind, body and spirit. With this challenge, they successfully extend that mission to the student body.
Students interested in participating in the challenge can go to stagsgomovechallenge.org to register for free and share their progress.