Active U starts Tuesday, January 10!

Man walking with Fitbit

Active U 2017, MHealthy’s 12-week physical activity challenge, starts Tuesday, January 10. The program draws thousands in the U-M community who use the team camaraderie, weekly exercise goal, and coveted T-shirt as motivation to get moving each New Year. Register today and start the New Year off moving more and feeling good! 

For David Young, his commitment to moving more and making small, incremental changes helped him lose more than 100 pounds.

“The important thing for me was to always keep moving,” says Young, a multimedia designer at the U-M School of Information. “Because of previous lower back surgeries, I could mostly do low-impact exercises like walking. Choosing to do that, combined with sensible eating and taking advantage of MHealthy programs like Active U, is how I stay the course.”

All at the university - faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students, retirees and employee spouses/other qualified adults (OQA) - can join Active U. During registration, set your weekly exercise minutes goal by answering a few questions about your current amount of physical activity. Once registered, choose to remain an individual participant or to join or create a team. Then, starting January 10, begin logging your exercise in the online tracker.

“On average, most people should try to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, at least 5 days a week to improve fitness,” say Colleen Greene, MHealthy senior wellness coordinator. “Walking, yoga, strength training, swimming, yard work, shoveling snow, and even playing tag with the kids all count towards reaching your exercise goal each week. Active U truly is a program for all fitness levels, ages and abilities.”

Program highlights for 2017:

  • More ways to log – In addition to logging via the website, text message, and mobile app, you can now sync your Fitbit, Garmin or Jawbone wearable tracking device. Or, download and sync the free version of Runkeeper, an activity tracking app, to your iPhone or Android smartphone
  • Active U T-shirt – Earn a 2017 T-shirt for successfully completing the program (free to employee and graduate students; small fee for spouses/OQAs, undergraduate students, and retirees)
  • Charity donation – Participants can donate to raise money for the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
  • $50 incentive – Active U qualifies for MHealthy Rewards 2017, which gives benefits-eligible faculty and staff the opportunity to earn up to $100 for completing two qualifying healthy activities in 2017. Look for more information when Rewards launches on Jan. 12!

A few years ago when Young was just starting his weight loss journey, he used his Rewards incentive towards buying a Fitbit to help monitor his steps.

“I remember wondering how I would ever get 10,000 steps in a day, which initially felt like a lot of work,” says Young. “However, I started doing things like taking 10-minute walking breaks at work and parking at the back of the parking lot. It took me four or five months, but eventually reaching my goal each day wasn’t as daunting.”

 Register for Active U today! Logging exercise minutes starts Jan. 10 and continues through April 3.