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GrinWell challenge begins, app launched

GrinWell challenge begins, app launched

President Raynard Kington kicked off the GrinWell initiative this week, challenging all Grinnellians to incorporate different aspects of wellness into their lives over the program’s 12-week span.

The program—also called the President’s Wellness Challenge—began on Monday, Sept. 29 and will run through Friday, Dec. 19. It is intended to encourage purposeful wellness in the categories of sleeping, eating, moving and recharging.

The goal behind GrinWell was to encourage positive lifelong wellness habits that would extend beyond Grinnellians’ time at the College. Kington worked closely with Wellness Director Jen Jacobsen, one of the lead administrators and designers of the GrinWell challenge.

The challenge encourages students to sleep seven to nine hours a night, eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, move for 30 minutes and recharge by doing anything outside of the daily grind of life. After being inspired by this idea to boost Grinnellians toward a healthier lifestyle, Kington approached AppDev to create an app that can help support the GrinWell challenge.

GrinnwellwebsiteAppDev has previously developed G-licious and The S&B app. AppDev members were initially hesitant to take on the job but eventually decided to prototype the app. Lea Marolt Sonnenschein ’15, Christine Tran ’16 and Samee Zahid ’17 created the app, which is currently available in a beta version.

The app will allow students to enter their daily wellness numbers to see if they can beat Kington in the four categories of the program, as well as other students participating in the challenge.  It even has a Twitter feed in the app for students and faculty to tweet their progress using the hashtag #GrinWell. At the end of the challenge, AppDev can tally how well Grinnellians have done and send out the information to all the app users.

The AppDev representatives noted that, “Keeping active has always been a challenge but there are always activities going at Grinnell to help you stay out and about.”

Kington, Jacobsen and various faculty have planned an assortment of activities for the 12-week challenge and the College has pledged to donate to a local wellness charity for each person who completes the challenge. The first 200 people to sign up will also receive free t-shirts.

SGA Vice President for Student Affairs Iulia Iordache ’15 mentioned that a few interesting GrinWell events have happened already and that students should keep an eye out.

“Senior administration has been sharing apples with the GrinWell logo to students and doing a lot of little things to help us stay conscious of our health, how we sleep and how we take care of ourselves,” Iordache said.

Jacobsen described other wellness events for students to participate in.

“There will be ongoing programming and activities throughout the rest of the semester—next Wednesday, Oct. 8 is the Healthiest State Walk at noon by the JRC,” Jacobsen wrote in an email to The S&B. “There will also be a veggie fair in JRC 101 later in the semester, as well as chair massages and therapy dogs.”

She encouraged students to participate in whatever ways possible and to treat the GrinWell challenge as a great opportunity to learn ways to incorporate wellness as part of the Grinnell experience.

“It’s very important to think of it as an individual challenge—success is defined personally,” Jacobsen wrote. “If you are used to eating no servings of fruits or veggies, one serving a day is a great step.”

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