Fitober offers students a variety of fitness programs UREC | Lifestyles

With play days, fall activities, and perfect weather to take advantage of Northwest Arkansas’s abundance of hiking trails, October is a month full of excitement around campus. However, with all this excitement comes the stress of midterms and a busy semester.

Fitober is an initiative that university recreation officials offer to encourage students to adopt healthy habits and find stress relief during the busy month.

Students participating in Fitober sign up to track at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week in October. If they reach 600 minutes by the end of the month, students will receive a Chartwells discount code and enter their name into a draw for additional prizes.

“Getting outside and being physically active can help reduce stress,” said Casey Fant, the university’s deputy director of fitness and wellness. “Building these endorphins can help students manage stress and anxiety, especially during tests.”

UREC officials chose October as the month to implement the fitness program because of the high stress that comes with exams and the pleasant weather, which makes it easy for students to get outside and get active, Fant said. . October is a good month for students to build healthy habits before November and December set in.

UREC offers many programs that students can take advantage of to stay healthy and improve their well-being, Fant said. Students can hike one of the routes around campus, take a group fitness class, attend rock climbing and floating excursions through UREC Outdoors, participate in intramural and club sports, play tennis on the new tennis court or explore one of the area’s hiking trails. .

Another option for students is the small group training offered by UREC, Fant said. Students enroll in a six-week course with six to eight participants and are led by an instructor throughout the session.

If students are looking for a more general sense of wellness, they can visit the UA Wellness website to explore the Wellness Coaching program, Fant said.

“Wellness coaching is available,” Fant said. “Students can sign up to schedule an appointment with a wellness coach to identify areas they want to focus on, which could be physical activity and generally working on overall wellness. .”

Another program offered by UREC is the yoga program. Rachael Foster, a graduate psychology student, teaches yoga at the UREC Fitness Center. Although Foster started teaching just over a year ago, her personal yoga journey began during her freshman year of high school, and she said she saw many mental and physical health benefits.

“It really saved my life in some ways,” Foster said. “Like at a specific time in my life, I was really unwell and I went to a yoga class, and I was laying in shavasana and I was in a really dark time, and I had this realization of the beauty and gravity of having a body on earth, how wild it is. It really was like an “aha” moment that changed the course of my life and if I hadn’t gone in yoga, I wouldn’t have had that.

Gweneth Kuhns, a junior public health student, works for the UREC fitness center. She said school administrators are focused on accessibility for all students because exercise can lead to higher grades. There is also a lower dropout rate for students using UREC facilities, Kuhns said.

Foster said yoga has always kept her grounded, and the meditation and mindfulness aspects have benefited her mental health and that of her students.

Foster’s teaching style reflects the spiritual and mindful aspects of yoga, she said. She encourages her students to keep this awareness throughout the day, applying this practice to their daily lives.

Bella Thompson, a freshman from Tulsa, Oklahoma, studying political science, said she regularly attends yoga classes at the UREC fitness center and recommends anyone to take them.

“Yoga has been super fun,” Thompson said. “I really like to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the day to relax and unwind, it’s super fun to meet new people there. It really helps me take a step back and relax.

Although all teachers are different, yoga doesn’t have to be a strenuous form of exercise and Foster tries to keep her classes relaxed. As half term approaches, all students can take advantage of free yoga classes to stay calm and manage stress, Foster said.

By joining the Fitober Challenge, students can make the most of the season while staying physically active and managing stress. The multitude of on-campus health and wellness resources are available to help students feel their best.

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