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New fitness programs at SLC available for students

Sept. 5, 2003

By Cindy Kittner, reporter

Students have more reasons to get fit and stay fit as the McLane Student Life Center launches new programs to keep students' bodies healthy and spirits high.

Individuals can sign up for the Total Wellness Program, 200 Mile Trail Blazers Club, Bearobics and fitness challenges this semester.

The Total Wellness Program is designed for freshmen seeking to beat the 'freshman 15,' for beginning exercisers and for anyone needing to be held accountable to a fitness program. It includes a pre-fitness assessment, with options such as body fat testing, blood pressure screening, a three-minute step test and a flexibility test.

Participants in the program take the tests on a volunteer basis to determine their current fitness levels and goals they want to achieve during the semester.

'The main thing is to start with something and to keep active,' Van Davis, Baylor fitness coordinator, said.

Davis said a one-on-one consultation with a nutrition counselor follows the assessment because 'eating and fitness go hand in hand.'

Davis said people get excited when they start a fitness program because they envision their goals being met; however, an accountability coach will be useful as 'a tool to help the path along the way.'

Megan Parsons, who graduated in May 2003, oversees the accountability coaches. Her staff calls and e-mails members of the Total Wellness Program to encourage them.

'It's the baby steps to reach the big goal,' Parsons said. Her staff is 'going to show them how to do the little things everyday.'

The Total Wellness Program costs $25 for students and $35 for faculty and staff.

People who are interested in one or more of the semester-long programs can sign up at the SLC front desk or call 710-6631.

Bear Trail Kickoff, another new event, starts at 6 p.m. Monday, on the Bear Trail by the SLC parking lot. Davis said that green and gold balloons will line the trail, and participants can either run or walk it.

The kickoff starts the new 200 Mile Trail Blazers Club, whose members strive to complete 200 miles between Saturday and the end of the school year.

'We want to encourage people to run or walk it at least three times a week,' Davis said. 'Exercise doesn't have to be work. Students can enjoy what they like and what we have to offer them.'

The even will feature guest speakers President Robert B. Sloan Jr, Eileen Hulme, vice president for student life, and Jeff Leach, student body president and Plano junior.

Runners will get refreshments and goody bags and Davis will unveil new Bear Trail signs.

The 200 Mile Trail Blazers Club is a self monitored program, and people interested can sign up at the Bear Trail Kickoff event or at the SLC front desk.

Members will report their daily or weekly mileage (up to 20 miles per week) in the SLC, and the staff will update it on a bulletin board.

Davis said there are also new additions to improve the Bear Trail, including water fountains and fitness stations.

The station, located by the SLC parking lot, will include pull up, sit up and stretching equipment.

These stations will provide the opportunity for a full body workout, improving overall fitness for Bear Trail runners.

'We want to encourage people that strength, flexibility and cardio need to be a part of the weekly exercise,' Davis said. 'Most people don't realize that the best time to improve flexibility is right after they finish working out because muscles are warmed and pliable.'

Bearobics, which Davis said is the most popular SLC program, begins Monday and costs $30 per semester or $50 for the year. More than 25 classes are offered weekly, such as cardio kickboxing, Pilates, yoga and specific muscle group toning.

'The Bearobics class is a chance to work out with a large group of people in a structured environment,' Trish Meaney, a Shreveport, La., senior, said.

Meaney's favorite class is kickboxing. 'It's good for people who don't know what exercises to do because an instructor is there teaching you how,' she said.

SLC staff also offers a free one-on-one fitness orientation and assessment, available any time.

Contact the Fitness Center at 710-7527 to set up an appointment.