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UCOP Walks: A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Approximately 200 UCOP employees participated in the annual UC Walks lunchtime event on Wednesday, June 8. Sunny and warm, it was a perfect day for a stroll around Lake Merritt. But before the walk, staff was treated to a variety of activities (and snacks!) designed to make it fun to be healthy.

Fruit kabobs, roasted chickpeas, hummus dip with veggies, fresh fruit and other nutritious energy boosts drew a line of enthusiastic takers, as did the chance to pick up a blue and gold “UC Walks” T-shirt, frisbees, exercise bands and other giveaways provided by event sponsors.

After collecting swag, it was time to explore the many activities set up at Snow Park, which included bowling with a giant inflatable ball and pins, a hacky sack toss, a “de-stress” table of art supplies and a photo booth with props for taking selfies. Tickling the funny bone was a large-scale Operation game on which players tested their manual dexterity by having only 20 seconds to remove items that included a (literal) frog in the throat, knots in the stomach and bug in the ear.

Before the walk around the lake began, the group was led through an invigorating warm-up using the elastic exercise bands. A 10-minute cascade of knee lifts and touches, knee lunges (which we learned “shape up everything”), shoulder rotations, and tricep, pec and back stretches left some of us realizing that we need to do this a little more often.

Forming a human centipede as they walked around Lake Merritt, people chatted with co-workers or made new acquaintances from other departments, expressed appreciation for the beautiful day and the event — and vowed to keep moving not just for health but for fun.


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