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Van Sullivan wall sit.JPG
For the SBU Fitness Challenge, Director Van Sullivan kicked things off with a wall sit that he held for 21 seconds.

New fitness challenge gets campus community moving at Stony Brook University

Open to students, faculty and staff, the SBU Fitness Challenge is virtual, safe and dedicated to fun and fitness.

Van Sullivan held a wall sit for 21 seconds, then posted a video and tagged a friend to do a tree pose. Sullivan, executive director of Stony Brook University’s Faculty Student Association (FSA), was the first link in what he hopes will be a long chain of healthier movement.

The pandemic has affected fitness in all sorts of ways, but perhaps the most common for many people is just less movement. The SBU Fitness Challenge, running for the first two weeks of February, is open to Stony Brook students, faculty and staff.

Cathrine_Duffy_tree_pose.jpgPhoto: Van Sullivan sent the tree pose challenge to Cathrine Duffy, director of Healthier U, a health program for the improvement and education of employee health and wellness at Stony Brook University.

To participate, one can choose a simple exercise move—plank, push-ups, jumping jacks, wall sit or tree pose—and take a video of themselves completing 21 reps or 21 seconds, depending on the exercise. The next person is tagged with a suggested move for the challenge, and so on. Participants are entered into a random drawing for a $100 gift card to sweeten the challenge.

Getting enough exercise is critical during the pandemic in a couple of very important ways, says Laura Fitzgerald, assistant director of fitness and wellness at Stony Brook. “Being physically active is not only great for your heart and muscles; it is also beneficial for your brain. Even a few minutes of exercise releases endorphins which can improve your mood and energy tremendously.”

Sullivan’s participation was in an effort to ensure dining services staff also participated and maintained healthy lifestyle habits during the coronavirus pandemic.

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