Campus: CSU Northridge -- October 27, 2004

CSUN Faculty Design Web-based Exercise Program to Help People Get Fit

"I'm going to exercise and eat better this year." Millions of people make that pledge to themselves and then break it every year.

Sometimes losing weight and getting healthy seem no easier than trying to make it to the summit of Yosemite's famous Half Dome monolith without ever even having tried on a pair of hiking boots.

Cal State Northridge kinesiology professor Steven Loy and his students have designed a free Web-based interactive fitness program to help the most reticent person get back into shape and maybe even one day make it to the top of Half Dome.

"We're bombarded daily with bad news--rising diabetes, more and more people with heart disease, rising obesity in adults and children," Loy said. "The solution to these problems--eat a healthy diet and increase your physical activity--seems so simple. But people are still finding excuses not to get into shape. Maybe they haven't found the right incentive, or program, for them."

Loy said he and his students hope their program, "CSUN & You @ Half Dome," may be the answer.

Over the next eight months, they will provide information via the Internet on exercising and eating right. The Web site, will offer participants opportunities to ask questions of and get personalized advice from Loy and his students by attending lectures or at a series of progressive hikes.

Loy and his students will facilitate periodic hikes, with the first one on Nov. 4 at Cal State Northridge, that will gradually build to an actual climb to the summit of Yosemite's Half Dome.

"It sounds like a lot, but all we're asking people to do is walk," Loy said. "At first, it may seem like an impossible goal, hiking up Half Dome. But after eight months of following our program, I think people are going to discover that Half Dome, or any other goal, can be achieved--whether it's losing 100 pounds or just that last 10 pounds so you can keep up with your kids or just stay physically active.

"By joining this program," he said, "people will be getting a built-in support group, and if they invite their friends and family to make that commitment with them, it'll make realization of their goals even easier."

Loy would like to make CSUN & You @ Half Dome an annual program that helps people realize that getting into shape and staying fit is not hard once the commitment is made. He said he and his students will be on hand to make sure people have the tools to reach their goals.

Participants in the first hike, a one-mile walk around Cal State Northridge, will begin gathering at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, at the steps of the Oviatt Library in the center of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

Loy wants to assure people that even if they miss the first walk, they can still participate in the program. Other hikes will be scheduled, including several on weekends, about twice a month. To get the latest information on CSUN & YOU, at check the Web site at

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,

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