Otter Be Well

Helping students get moving

By Jessenya Guerra
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Students who are part of the Otter Be Well program can walk around campus with their exercise buddy for their work out. Photo by Iliana Moreno.

“I love the program! My buddy keeps me accountable and our workouts are challenging yet super fun,” said Shaylea Stark, an Environmental Science Technology and Policy major at California State University, Monterey Bay. “It’s exactly what I needed this semester to give me some much needed motivation, especially after spring break,” said Stark.

Have you ever needed a little extra encouragement to get out of bed and start exercising? As college students, we tend to find ourselves with a lack of motivation when it comes to working out. Let’s face it: the Dining Commons and the Otter Express don’t have the healthiest options.

Losing weight or taking the first steps towards changing your diet or daily routine can prove difficult. Thanks to the “Otter Be Well” program on campus, you might be able to find that motivation you need to start your journey. This program is available to all students on campus who feel that they need extra encouragement to reach whatever their exercise goals might be.

“Otter Be Well is a semester long program designed to help students improve their mental and physical well-being through a self-selected physical activity program. Taking the first step toward a physically active lifestyle can be an overwhelming experience, especially when attempted alone. We understand this, which is why we use an exercise buddy system,” is the mission statement on the Otter Be Well website.

“All exercise buddies or ‘peer assistants’ are highly trained and knowledgeable in principles of physical activity and are flexible to meet the needs of a student’s busy schedule. Unlike personal trainers, our peer assistants are not there to tell the student what they should and should not do. They are there to support the student’s choices and provide guidance when needed by being a reliable activity partner. Whether the student enjoys walks to the beach, biking around Fort Ord, or going to the rec center, the peer assistant will be there to support the student in the ways they would like to be physically active,” reads the website.

Otter Be Well pairs seniors recommended by professors in Kinesiology with fellow Otters to work on their weight loss goals. Thanks to the confidentiality of the program, Otters can feel safe to disclose any personal information regarding health and wellness to their buddies.

This program is designed to be fun and easy for students. Too often, people encounter negative experiences with exercising when they are pushed too hard. This has a tendency to negatively impact people, and can discourage one’s progress. The Otter Be Well program is designed to be the opposite of that experience. It revolves around the safety and comfort level of students in order to propel them in a healthier and happier direction.

If you want to know more about the Otter Be Well program and how you can participate, here is a statement from the CSUMB Otter Be Well webpage. “The program is free for students identified as qualifying by their counselor in the Personal Growth and Counseling Center (PGCC). If you are interested in being part of the program, ask your counselor for more information.”

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