Kinesiology professor leads CSUN community in exercise program

Daily Sundial

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Aside from being the Kinesiology Department’s exercise science option coordinator, Steven Loy also helps train people of all ages through his CSUN and You at Half Dome exercise program, now in its second year, held from October to June.

“The reason I started this program was because it’s good self motivation for people who say they don’t have time to exercise,” Loy said. “And no motivation is better than being in a group, where you face many pressures and challenges in trying to keep up with others.”

The eight-month program acts as a training course for faculty, staff, students and community members who look to create or expand upon their exercise routines. The program’s hikes and exercises build in intensity so participants can stay with the program and develop their endurance and abilities, organizers and participants said.

Loy said he has spoken to many people who say they do not have enough time to exercise 90 minutes per day. He said that starting a 90-minute workout could be intimidating, and many people do not want to do it.

If most people start off with 10-minute workouts and then add on two minutes each day, the 90 minutes would become easier to accomplish, he said.

When Loy’s group goes out for its scheduled hikes, which sometimes go up to 16 miles, the hikers will not get tired as fast, since most of its members should have been training regularly to increase their pace, he said. The hikes would become harder when the group plans to hike at Yosemite National Park in June, Loy said.

“But the goal isn’t for everyone to hike at Yosemite, and do it in the fastest time possible,” Loy said. “The goal is for people to reach their own half dome, and pace their exercising to their needs. There’s no rush when doing these hikes. They’ll reach their half dome when they’re ready. This is something that anyone can do.”

Some participants of last year’s program, which was the first time it was offered, said Loy’s program hikes and exercises made a difference in their lives.

“These eight solid months of training really helped,” said Randy Thomson, director of publications at in CSUN Public Relations. “I lost a lot of weight, and my cholesterol level dropped, which is good. The more and more my doctor shows me my cholesterol level, the more I find that these exercises are more important than they were before.”

The program is the right excuse to exercise everyday, he said.

Thomson said his goal is to maintain his weight. He also said maintaining his weight is especially crucial since some holidays, such as Thanksgiving, facilitate overeating.

CSUN Kinesiology Professor Bill Whiting was also part of the CSUN and You at Half Dome last year.

“I was a hiker back when I was a little younger, and I still enjoy going on hikes, so I joined,” he said. “I like to keep myself in shape, and help keep all the others that will be joining (to get) in shape.”

Loy said anyone is welcome to sign up for the program, which is not limited to faculty, staff and students. The program is free and open to the CSUN community, he said.

“I saw this program on the Kinesiology Department website, and I thought that it’d be great to do,” said Ruben Avila, kinesiology professor. “So I signed up. I told my brother about it – and he got pretty interested in it.”

The first hike was held Nov. 3 on the steps of the Oviatt Library, and the group walked around the campus for one mile. The next hike will be held Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. in Thousand Oaks, according to Loy.

Mark Solleza can be reached at city@sundial.csun.edu.