Wellness Week kicked off the morning of April 10 with a host of events focusing on mental health, fitness and nutrition that will end Sunday, just in time for the Boston Marathon on April 17.
"It seemed like the perfect time to focus on this," said Yao-Chung King, chairman of the Undergraduate Association's Committee on Student Life, the organizing group. "It is just after spring break and right before everything gets really crazy."
Although there have been similar events in the past, this is the first one to be almost entirely organized and run by students, said King. He and the other committee members raised more than $15,000 from sponsors on campus and off.
On Monday, an early morning yoga class on Kresge Oval was immediately followed by a push-up and sit-up contest. Later, a fitness fair in the Zesiger Center highlighted MIT's many club and varsity sports, as well as physical education classes available for students.
"These events really all support one another," said King. Students can go from a cooking class to a fitness activity and then to a very relaxing activity like the four-hour "Nap Zone," which invited students to nap on beds in the Student Center. Some events focus on body image and self-esteem, such as Tuesday night's "Stand Up Stand Out" event, sponsored by the Panhellenic Association.
On Thursday, a chef will give a healthy cooking demonstration in front of the Student Center, creating meals with food that can be purchased on campus. "We wanted to make this as accessible as possible," said King.
A mini-triathlon, the "Iron Nerd," will pit competitors against one another as they swim four laps, wheel around "dorm row" on roller blades, bikes and roller skates ("creativity is encouraged," King said), then finish with a mile-long run around campus. The Iron Nerd starts Saturday at 11 a.m. For a complete list of events, see the web site at http://web.mit.edu/ejang/www.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 12, 2006 (download PDF).