Love-themed 5k promotes mental, physical health

This Valentine's Day season the wellness department is encouraging students to commit to healthy relationships through it's third annual Love the Run You’re With 5k. Baylee Versteeg | Multimedia Journalist

By Vivian Kwok | Reporter

This Valentine’s Day season the wellness department is encouraging students to commit to healthy relationships through it’s third annual Love the Run You’re With 5k.

Register for the 5k for a $5 fee, which includes a T-shirt. The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday starting at the BSB fountain.

Graduate apprentice for wellness Aly Vukelich said the goal of the event is to promote healthy relationships. Relationships could be between office mates, boyfriend and girlfriend or mother and daughter.

“That’s something that’s really important and something that I don’t think we really talk about a lot,” Vukelich said.

Vukelich said that on the day of the 5k people have the opportunity to write the name of somebody they love on their bib.

“They’re running for that person just to remember ‘I really love this person. How can I continue to build the strong and healthy relationship that I have with them?’” Vukelich said.

Aside from supporting positive relationships, people can leave the 5k with other benefits. Assistant director of wellness Van Davis said that doing a 5k has positive mental, academic and social outcomes in addition to the physical aspect.

“There’s just a lot of different factors and different dimensions that you’re going to get just by doing a 5k,” Davis said.

First, Davis said that the event allows the department to promote the importance of physical activity for the Baylor community.

“All of our bodies are designed to move on a regular basis,” Davis said. “Our bodies are definitely not made to idle, to be just sitting and just still.”

Engaging in consistent physical activity is also beneficial for the people’s mental wellbeing. Davis said doing a 5k could enhance your mood.

“We know that when you are physically active, whether you’re running or jogging or walking or cycling, the endorphins that you get from physical activity is going to give you the benefit of positive self-esteem,” Davis said.

The positive mood enhancement could be especially beneficial for students who have big projects to complete, approaching deadlines or other stressors.

“After [students] finish a 5k, they’re going to have the energy to focus on what they need to do academically as well,” Davis said.

Davis said that more importantly everybody is welcome to join in on the community-based event.

“That sense of community is also a very positive thing that we are promoting,” she said.

One daunting aspect of a 5k may be the assumption that you need be in fit shape or be able to run the whole course. However, Davis and Vukelich said the event reaches people of all fitness levels.

“For us, just come and move. Move around the course,” Davis said. “If you’re a runner, go run. If you’re a sprinter, sprint the whole 5k. If you’re a walker, walk. If you can only walk maybe half, do half. If you can only walk behind the BSB, that’s fine, too.”

Vukelich said a good number of people will come and walk. There will even be a group for walkers.

“I’m not a runner personally,” Vukelich said. “But I do think this is a really good opportunity for people whether they like running or not, just to get a group of friends together and walk the route even.

The department encourages whole families, friends and significant others to come support positive relationships, physical activity, mental health and the comfort of community. The department expects about 400 people to attend the event.

“I don’t think there’s ever a 5k anywhere that’s only $5, and it includes a great T-shirt. We lose money from putting on this event but it’s that important to us. That we want to make sure that people come,” Davis said.