Cycling for a cause: OU and AHA partnership

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Noora Neiroukh

The Rec Center bikes currently. The Rec Center will be partnering with the AHA for Cycle Nation.

Gabrielle Abdelmessih, Staff Reporter

In order to raise money for life-saving stroke and heart disease research, University Recreation and Well-Being, Residence Life Association (RLA) and Student Congress have partnered up to bring the American Heart Association (AHA) Cycle Nation event to campus from March 29th through April 1st.

The goal of the event is to have 250 students ride a half-hour each, for 7,500 minutes in four days. All students, whether they live on or off campus, will be able to assist in reaching this goal and supporting the cause.

“OU has been involved with the American Heart Association for the past three years, Becky Lewis, associate director of university recreation and well-being said. “We got involved because President Pescovitz, being a medical doctor, connected with Metro Detroit heart walk chairs: Wayne State University’s president and the Henry Ford Health System’s CEO for a healthy cause. Not only was getting involved for a good cause, but the AHA also supports a lot of research being done by faculty and students at OU through grant funding. It is a win-win community partnership.”

RLA and Student Congress have donated $3,000 to the American Heart Association on behalf of all OU students.

“Any student can participate and ride at no cost to them out of pocket. It’s a fun activity,” Lewis said.

Stationary bikes will be set up in Hillcrest, Hamlin, and Oak View Residence Halls. Students who choose to ride a bike in the residence halls must register for a 30 minute bike time. Time slots will be available at various times during the week and will be supervised for distancing and safety. A mask is required to ride.

The Recreation Center will also have bikes on Court three. They will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants can log their time with a Rec Center employee.

“We want to promote engagement, good health, exercise, and a fun way to do that,” Lewis said.

The Recreation Center is also offering cycle nation classes and virtual fitness classes with a GroupX instructor.

Students interested can take classes from beginner to advanced difficulties, and can find the classes on the Recreation and Well-Being Facebook page.

“If someone wants to use their phone and they’re on a bike, whether it’s in another gym or the Rec Center rather than just riding with their music on, which they can do, they can ride in the instructor’s virtual class,” Lewis said.

Additionally, students can choose to ride their own bike (stationary or non-stationary) at home or another workout facility and log their participation.

Everyone who participates and logs time is eligible to win prizes and enter giveaways.

A separate event for university staff is being planned for this summer. More information will be released at that time.

For more information on the Cycle Nation event, please visit OU Rec Well.