Updated: Mar 5, 2020
By Ali Richardson, Staff Writer
With the opening of the Fletcher Fitness Center in 2018, the campus now has a facility with great equipment and opportunities for students, faculty and staff to be able to aid in creating a healthy lifestyle.
Among the opportunities that can be utilized in the Fitness Center are Group X classes. There are five classes offered on a weekly basis during the week, throughout different times of the day. The classes offered are Bootcamp, TRX Circuit, Tabata, Barbell and Yoga.
These classes are each different in their own respect that they do not all target the same body area, nor are they at the same pace. Students, staff, faculty and alumni have utilized these Group X classes since the opening of the facility.
Rylee Iacomini, a junior biology major, has been attending these classes since last spring. “I mostly attend Bootcamp on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays. I recently started going to Tabata on Tuesday and Thursdays. And then last night I was in the Fitness Center and some friends convinced me to do the Barbell class. So, I tried that out. But mostly I do the morning classes,” Iacomini said.
College students often have busy schedules and may find it hard making time to work out, Iacomini, for example, has found that the Group X classes help her fit activity into her busy schedule.
“I think for me I’m really motivated by going to a class, it’s like having an appointment. If I’m doing it on my own, I have to figure out when to go, what I’m going to do or figure out if I want to invite friends to make it more fun. But with classes, I just schedule it into part of my day. There are friends there and I don’t have to plan a workout, which for me is really freeing. I’d rather have someone give me instructions. Plus, I do things in class that I wouldn’t make myself do on my own. Like I wouldn’t include burpees in my own workout, but if it’s in class it’s like okay, just got to do it,” Iacomini said.
Iacomini continued. “In college its really easy to stay up late and eat junk food late at night or to not ever put working out into your schedule. But with this [program], it’s made me realize working out ultimately makes me feel so much better about myself. I feel productive which motivates me more to take care of schoolwork or even in my job so I think overall being active gives you more energy. The Fitness Center has had a big impact on my life. In my freshman year, we had the small room for the Fitness Center and it was kind of like eh. But with the new one I was like wow this is a place I’d really like to be,” Iacomini said.
Iacomini explained that the challenge for her was getting up to attend these classes, and what she did to push herself to get there. “I think for me, especially with morning classes, I had to decide the night before, like ‘okay, yes I’m doing it’. I couldn’t let myself wake up and make the decision, it had to be a premade decision. Definitely getting in bed at the right time helps,” Iacomini said.
Dr. Janelle O’Connell, professor of physical therapy, head of the department of physical therapy and graduate program director of physical therapy has also utilized the early morning Bootcamp class.
She shared her favorite aspect of the class she currently attends. “I enjoy the variety of workouts as they are all challenging, but things never get boring or ‘routine’ because it is different every day. There is a great mix of strengthening, core and aerobics,” Dr. O’Connell said.
One may find it challenging to get to a gym setting and workout on their own, but Dr. O’Connell likes the community aspect of doing the class with others. “I find I push myself harder when I am in a group setting, especially around the students who are only 1/3 my age. I enjoy the camaraderie from the other participants and Haley, the instructor. We all know we are going to be challenged, but ultimately, we encourage each other to push a little harder to see those results,” Dr. O’Connell said.
Like Iacomini, Dr. O’Connell also believes there are benefits not only to the body and health of someone, but the productivity throughout the day.
“The benefits of regular exercise, aerobic, strength training and flexibility are well documented in the literature. Each day, each of us are growing older; I choose to do that while being fit and healthy vs. old and rusty. However, exercise is something that must be scheduled into your day or it is too easy to make excuses not to do it. Come have fun. Do it for yourself and your health, you will feel so much better (physically, emotionally, spiritually) in the long run and your days will be more productive,” Dr. O’Connell said.