After sitting in a cramped desk for an hour or two, it's natural to want to do is stand up and move. Midday Moves, an initiative under the Memphis Healthy U umbrella, provides students the opportunity to get outside and exercise.
Every weekday starting at 12:30 p.m., numerous organizations around campus help to coordinate Midday Moves. Each organization plans a different 20 to 30 minute physical activity for students, faculty and the surrounding community for different days of the week. Activities range from yoga to mini-golf.
“We allow each organization to provide their own instructor for each event, unless it is an activity like Yoga, where we have an in-house instructor," said Jasmine Ellis, the coordinator of Midday Moves. "Several of the activities are new and unique to most of our participants so we learn collectively from the instructor. “
For Tuesday’s Midday Moves session, Kim Morgan and Lindsey Laurenzi, the owners of both Purre Barre locations around the city, came to teach Pilates to students. The session was held outside on the Alumni Mall outside of the University Center.
“The CRIS has all of the materials we need and there have been some items that was needed to be purchased and we have had to justify its importance to get it bought," Ellis explained. "We exhaust all free avenues, like the Alumni Mall, and instructors that are already contracted by the U of M. Today was an example of a community partner of the school. Most are connections made by President Martin, that use Midday Moves to express their support for U of M, as well as, promote their respective services to students and faculty."
Since it’s inception at the beginning of the fall semester, Midday Moves has been attempting to help the U of M community learn how to adopt better life style habits.
“Using this initiative can educate students in a wide range of aspects including nutrition, physical activity and making being healthy a lifestyle choice and not a routine,” Ellis added.
The Midday Moves program also aims to bring the campus together through physical activity.
“Just the fact that students and faculty are socializing and getting fit together is a small victory of its own," Ellis said. "One flaw of being such a huge school is that there is a lot of room for separation between undergrad and grad, commuter and on campus, but this initiative, the time and the structure, allows for everyone to be included in the target market of who will benefit from this program."
Right now the Midday Moves program is hoping to benefit the University of Memphis community, but Ellis hopes the program will expand in the future.
“I would love to see Midday Moves as a city-wide initiative," she said. "I think that if city representatives and campus leadership pushed for this to be a task taken on by the City, then many lives could be affected by twenty minutes of quality movement.”