#BetterInRed: Reflections of a Red Runner – Lauren

#BetterInRed: Reflections of a Red Runner – Lauren


Lauren Benson is the Red Runner at Port Macquarie who’s getting people together to get fit, active and have fun for the #BetterInRed challenge. Three weeks in and she thinks they’ve cracked some great new habits in Port Mac and given people the opportunity to make new friends and explore the region.

It’s now week three of the #BetterInRed challenge and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience so far. Port Mac is CSU’s newest campus and each year student numbers grow as we get more people moving to this beautiful part of the world. #BetterInRed in Port Mac has become not just a platform for students and staff to get active but also a valuable way to meet new people and explore some of this gorgeous place we now call home.

So why did I want to be a Red Runner? Why did I sign up to do this for eight weeks? Because I felt CSU in Port Mac really needed something like this – a place and time to come together and get active. I know when I was at school (which admittedly feels like a lifetime ago), I was involved in everything possible. Sporting groups, athletic events, cross country, touch football comps – you name it. We even had events with other schools from the area and regularly go on excursions to play sport. But, since leaving high school I’ve gradually become less involved with sporting groups and as a result less active.

Lots of other students I’ve spoken to say it’s the same situation for them. There’s just not as much organised sporting and exercise activities at uni, so it’s easy for it to disappear from your life. At Port Mac #BetterInRed events, lots of students have revealed that they just don’t know where to start with exercise, or that they don’t know anyone their own age to get active with.

I’ve realised that when people start studying at uni, it’s often the first time they’ve ever had to balance so many things. Not only are they studying, they’re probably working part-time, completing assessments and trying to have a social life. So it’s normal to put exercise at the bottom of the to-do list. It also means a lack of time to prepare healthy meals, and before you know, dinner is two minute noodles again.

This campaign is all about awareness, and it has inspired students and staff at Port Macquarie to start looking after their health and wellbeing better. As part of #BetterInRed we have set up walks from campus, table tennis between classes and a soccer game coming up. These are just some of the simple, social and fun events we’ve organised. The response on campus has been really encouraging, with many of the staff and students involved commenting on how good it feels to get active. Our SRC is also keen to promote wellbeing for students and we now have fresh fruit delivered for a healthy snack option twice a week. Every little step towards better health helps!

I’ve already seen really positive results from the #BetterInRed events. We are hoping to continue running some of these even after the challenge finishes so there’s always fitness-focused activities happening at CSU in Port Mac.

#BetterInRed is all about getting the most out of university life by looking after your health and wellbeing. It is an exercise challenge that will run for eight weeks from Monday 6 March.

So, lace up, get out and challenge yourself to complete 30 minutes of exercise three times per week. Share your exercise using #BetterInRed and you could win some great prizes!

Find out more at social.csu

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