BY YAVUZ ALP SENCER ÖZTÜRK (CS/PREP)
A long time ago, I decided to start exercising on a regular basis. But even though I tried, I was never able to make exercise part of my daily routine. I had previously read some books about establishing such a routine, and they suggested a number of useful tactics. Nonetheless, every time I tried to make exercise a regular habit, I came up against one problem or another that prevented me from succeeding. I didn’t know that all I needed was just the right little push to get me started.
A month ago, while I was checking my Bilkent emails, I saw one headed “Sports as a Way of Life: Step Challenge” and opened it. In the email, the Bilkent Physical Education and Sports Center (BESM) team said that they were going to start a new challenge, in which students who wanted to participate would have to walk or run at least 12,500 steps at least three days a week.
When I saw this, I smiled. “This is a chance for me to start a new exercise routine,” I thought. So I signed up to participate. Once the challenge started, I started walking every day. To keep myself motivated, I added some enjoyable little extras, like listening to music while walking.
And every night, I checked the number of steps I had taken that day. If it was more than 12,500, I sent a screenshot to the Sports Center’s email address. The next day I got a new email from BESM: a “congratulations” message!
At the end of the first week, I found myself able to walk every day and felt more energetic and full of life. I kept on walking on a regular basis for a month, and I now continue to walk every day.
To summarize, a month ago my average hours of activity and number of steps were very low, and I wasn’t able to do sports regularly. But BESM’s Step Challenge helped me change my life.
These days, I average almost 13,000 steps a day, and I do sports regularly. I feel much better both physically and mentally; my cognitive abilities have improved, and I’m also more active and energetic in my studies. I can go to sleep more easily, too.
This has been a real win-win. It wasn’t easy for me, but I didn’t give up, and I now understand that if we really want something, we can achieve it. As a final note, I’d like to say a huge thank you to the entire BESM team and especially the director, Ahsen Küçükdurmaz, for holding the Step Challenge and motivating me to understand that sports really is a way of life.