July 3, 2000
Fitness buffs pledge allegiance to new Wellness Center
By Jennifer McNulty
For the last few months, Currents Online has followed the progress of
two members of the campus community with varied fitness backgrounds as they pursued
their fitness goals. This is the last report of the academic year.
The new campus Wellness
Center has captured the hearts--and improved the cardiovascular fitness--of hundreds
of people on campus, including Katrina Cope and Gene Switkes, who have honored their
pledges to work out regularly in the facility that opened in January.
|Katrina Cope (left) and colleague April Goral show off their new muscles with
instructor Gyre Renwick.
Photo: Jennifer McNulty
"My use and enjoyment of the center has not waned as the newness of the center
wears off," said Switkes, a chemistry professor who has used the Wellness Center's
well-equipped weight rooms to round out his workout routines, which include tennis
"I keep finding additional benefits, including some really helpful guidance
I've gotten from staff members and graduate student colleagues," said Switkes.
Among his tutors are teaching assistants in an exercise physiology class offered
by the Biology Department. "They've taught me about the relationship of exercise
levels to cardiovascular conditioning and maximum fat metabolism."
Both Switkes and Cope have introduced colleagues to the fitness facilities. Cope's
supervisor has approached her about participating in the Adopt-A-Slug
Exercise Mentorship Program for faculty and staff.
The summer program introduces employees to the Wellness Center's facilities by
pairing them with rec card holders and offering them 20 free visits. If they use
all the visits within seven weeks, they and their mentor will receive a free T-shirt.
"Anyone can exercise for two or three weeks, but seven weeks is a commitment,"
said Ryan Andrews, manager of the Wellness Center, who hopes to attract 75 new fitness
converts through the incentive program.
With students away from campus for the summer, the Wellness Center is crying out
for more users. "It's empty! Get in here and use it!" said Andrews, adding
that the first floor of the facility is reserved
for use by faculty and staff only each day from noon to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30
Having conquered an early spring slump, Cope has declared her experiment in fitness
such a success that she plans to continue her lunch-hour workouts through the summer
and into the next academic year
"I think it's getting started that's the hardest part--overcoming that inertia,"
said Cope, who is enjoying the satisfaction of having lost inches and improving her
strength and endurance. "I'm able to fit into my clothes better, and I definitely
feel less stressed when I go back to work after a class. It's refreshing to do this."
Cope has maintained her twice-weekly lunch-hour "Express
workouts" and her success has inspired several other colleagues from Hahn
Student Services to join the noon workout.
After only six weeks, Barbara Ng, an assistant in the Admissions Office, said she
noticed how much stronger she has become when she hoisted her suitcase into the overhead
luggage bin on an airplane.
"I had to carry my suitcase up two flights of stairs, and I wasn't out of
breath when I got there," she added. "It builds confidence when you're
out in the world."
New services offered at the Wellness Center include fitness
testing, personal trainers, and training on the Technogym exercise equipment.
A comprehensive fitness assessment, which includes cardiovascular testing, flexibility
testing, bodyfat content, and strength and endurance testing, is available for $30.
Individual tests can be scheduled for $5 each.
Fees for personal trainers are $30 per hour for students and $35 per hour for faculty
and staff. "The goal of working with a trainer really should be to work together
three or four times, then go out on your own," said Andrews. "After that,
you can meet periodically for motivation and to reprogram your workout."
The Technogym equipment, considered the most cutting-edge technology-based equipment
in the world, enables users to develop customized exercise programs that deliver
optimum results. Using the Technogym Smartkey, the system saves all workout data
in a personalized database that makes charting progress easy. Training sessions,
made up of three 75-minute classes, begin June 26.
While other students in the Express Workout have come and gone, Cope and her colleague
and friend April Goral have been regulars. "We took Ryan out to lunch to thank
him--and he ate a dessert," Cope recalled with glee. "It's important to
treat your coach right, too."
Cope's new goal is to reach the one-year mark on her road to lifelong fitness. "I
feel like I'll hit a milestone if I hit a year," she said. Meanwhile, she plans
to do a follow-up fitness assessment in September to see what progress she has made
over six months.
Fitness Tip: If you want to participate in the Adopt-A-Slug Exercise Mentorship
Program or sign up for a Technogym class, call (831) 459-2995. The Adopt-A-Slug program
begins July 12 and ends Sept. 20. Wellness Center orientations
are offered on Tuesday evenings at 5:15 p.m. and on Thursdays at 12:15 p.m. For information
about fitness testing, call (831) 459-3970.
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