Looking to shake up your fitness routine? Consider Group Exercise classes as a way to provide variety in your everyday workout. Not to mention, a little bit of fun too! Whether your goal is to simply start exercising, increase your accountability, or just find a fun way to stay active, Group Exercise may be the answer for you!
Participants of all fitness levels are welcome to participate in Group Exercise classes, since classes are formatted to accommodate beginner, intermediate, and advanced participants. Plus, all participants can find a range of different course options suited to their interests. Various class options provide variety and room for growth for each individual’s fitness journey.
For beginners, Group Exercise may be a great first step. For those who don’t feel experienced or comfortable enough to workout alone, Group Exercise is a perfect option. Classes are led by an instructor to provide a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere, while also providing guidance to those who may need it.
"I have never been an athletic person,” said Morgan, GVSU student. “Taking group exercise classes makes me feel good and gives me a way to simply exercise without the sports aspect and judgement of others!”
Even our advanced participants find that following an instructor is a great way to create structure, especially for those who are accustomed to following workouts provided by a coach or trainer. Group Exercise is also great for those who aren’t experienced in developing their own exercises, yet it still allows them to achieve their fitness goals.
"I participate in Campus Recreation services because I like to have structure and someone else to challenge me during workouts, due to the fact that I am a former athlete,” said Terrell Dorsey, GVSU student. “Also, why worry about what my workout should be when I can attend any GroupEx class with the GroupEx pass?”
As discussed in Rec&Well’s last blog, creating accountability is a monumental tool when turning fitness activities into habits. Purchasing a Group Exercise pass is an alternative form of that external accountability we mentioned. Attending Group Exercise classes consistently helps get you into a routine and make exercising a weekly habit.
“I enjoy participating in Group Exercise classes to help me to maintain accountability and stay motivated,” said Karmen Johnson, GVSU student. “Campus Rec has allowed me to grow, get involved, and step out of my comfort zone."
Group Exercise is also the perfect activity to get together with friends, and even make new ones! Most class formats are 45 minutes, making it easy to coordinate with friends and fit into your weekly schedule.
“I met close friends, and it was something I looked forward to,” said Meg Duffey, GVSU student. “The classes jump started me into going to the gym multiple days a week. Now, going to the Rec Center is a part of my routine. Campus Rec has such a positive energy around it, and I really enjoy being a part of its community.”
Ready to get started?
To participate, you must purchase an all-class pass each semester Passes are available for students, faculty, staff, and GVSU alumni who have a current fieldhouse membership. Passes are good for the entire semester and for as many classes as you desire. Plus, the first week of classes is Try-It-Before-You-Buy It, meaning you can come try any of those ~50 classes at no cost and with no pass that week!
Check back in August or follow @GVSURecreation on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to be notified when the Fall schedule is available and how to purchase your pass at that time. For more information and to see class descriptions, visit the Recreation and Wellness website.
Whether you never had much interest in living a healthier lifestyle, or you’ve found yourself straying away from those good habits for a little too long, it’s not always easy to jump into an exercise routine. Recreation and Wellness would like to give you a few of our best tips to starting to make healthier lifestyle choices then transforming those into lifelong habits.
Don’t ignore your foundation
You’ve probably heard this a few times, but it is essential to be sleeping 7-8 hours per night. Think about it this way, your body needs time to recover and regain energy to be able to rebuild the muscles that you worked in your last exercise. By skipping this step, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage for the potential that your workout could have. Don’t sabotage your fitness journey by not getting enough sleep. Instead, make sleep a priority. You’ll feel better not only during your workouts, but throughout the entire day too!
Your energy level doesn’t stop at just getting good sleep, it also has to do with the fuel that you’re giving your body. Yes, we’re talking about food! Both the calories that you are taking in, as well as the nutrition in those calories, matter toward your overall wellbeing. While you may be receiving enough calories from eating a donut each morning, it will not give you the nutrients and the foundation that your body needs. Getting a balanced breakfast and prioritizing your nutrition will help you better reach your goals and leave you feeling better.
While this is a lot easier said than done, controlling your stress is crucial to obtaining a consistent fitness journey. Stress interferes with the interest in engagement for physical activity and will leave you feeling unmotivated to continue. But guess what? Physical activity produces endorphins that will assist with your stress levels (if a moderate level of stress). While stress is inevitable and we all experience it (yes, everyone!), it is important to take action in monitoring stress levels the best you can, limiting interference achieving your fitness goals.
Outline your goals
Outlining your goals will keep you on track. It is important to establish those goals before you start, as this will allow you to witness your progress toward your goals. Checking out the UFit program through Recreation & Wellness is a great place to start if you aren’t sure how to establish those goals.
Need ways to remind yourself of your goals? Create a vision board, or scatter motivational notes in places you will see them everyday. Motivational quotes, pictures of exercises, or even just writing out your goals will remind you of why you started (and why you want to keep going on) this journey.
Do something everyday
Fitting in some form of physical activity everyday is essential to staying on track. If some days are busier than others, don’t feel like you need to engage in strenuous activity; something is always better than nothing. Whether it be walking your dog, playing a quick game of volleyball, or even shoveling snow, you’ll (more times than not) be glad you did it!
You don’t always have to make it to the Rec Center. Taking the stairs or riding a bike to class are great ways to get in your daily workout when you might not have time for an organized exercise session. Incorporating various activities will keep you on track without even thinking about it.
Create internal and external accountability
Instead of punishing yourself for not getting an exercise in, create proactive forms of accountability to avoid negative emotions. Internal accountability can be created just by establishing S.M.A.R.T.* goals and engaging in a routine. Do things ahead of time to make it easier for you in moments you feel less motivated. Pack for the Rec the night before, meal prep for the week, or make a commitment to yourself that you will exercise for so many days per week.
Engaging in activities outside of individual exercise, you can create external accountability. Sign up for group exercise classes or schedule time with a personal trainer to create more motivation Often times, when you make a commitment to others, you’re more likely to make it happen. Plus, it’s a good way to stay connected to others and increase both your consistency and yours!
Keep it fun and fresh
Your fitness journey should be fun! It shouldn’t feel like a chore to be healthy, and it doesn’t have to be. Finding things to stay active that spark your interest is important when creating fitness habits. Play a new sport, try rock climbing, or plan your own hiking trip. The possibilities are endless, and staying active should never be boring.
If you’re looking for fresh ways to get involved and stay active, check out the Recreation & Wellness website for even more opportunities change up your fitness routine.
*S.M.A.R.T. goals are: Specific (simple, sensible, significant), Measurable (meaningful, motivating), Achievable (agreed, attainable), Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based), and Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).
By: Alexis Smith
If you’re a student at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), you’ve most likely heard of Campus Recreation, Campus Rec, or maybe just REC. But what does that really mean? And, more importantly, what does that mean to you? When you hear “Campus Recreation,” do you just think of the Rec Center? Probably. While we love to promote exercise, we’re about so much more than that. In fact, we offer something for everyone, which means there's a lot!
Campus Rec provides inclusive and diverse recreational opportunities that inspire participation, promote health and wellbeing, and encourage student development and success. We offer opportunities for everyone - students, faculty, staff, and community members. Through sports, outdoor adventures, fitness, wellness, events, marketing, and student employment, there’s definitely ways to get involved, be active, and live healthy. To find what might interest you, look no further...
Club Sports provide an opportunity for students who want to compete or participate in a sport, but might not have the skill or time commitment to participate in an NCAA varsity sport at GVSU. Club Sports are student-run groups, many with coaches, that compete against other universities at a state, regional, and national level. GVSU has 50 sport organizations for men’s, women’s and co-rec competition. Club Sport athletes work hard to fundraise, train, and compete to represent their university. “I participate in GVSU Club Sports because it allows me to remain competitive in a sport that I love and can enjoy with my friends and family for a lifetime,” said Derrick Lessor, Waterski & Wakeboard Club member. “My involvement with Club Sports has helped to provide me with a family at GVSU.” Many of our Club Sports teams have opportunities for students who want to learn a new sport or who want to join a sport organization with like-minded people.
We also offer Intramural Sports (IM Sports), which are sport leagues and events that take place on GVSU’s campus for GVSU students, faculty, and staff. IM Sports are perfect for participants who want to play on a team with their friends, classmates, and roommates in a fun and recreational environment. Most participants play 1-2 games per week, and there are no practices required; you just show up and play! Whether participants are playing a sport for the first time, trying to relive their high school days or are playing for the championship t-shirt, IM Sports is a great place to be active and build friendships. “The reason I participate in Intramural Sports is to get more involved on campus, make new friends, and compete,” Whitney Card, GVSU student. “IM Sports provide a competitive atmosphere that also brings students of many backgrounds together.”
If you’re looking to find more adventure and expand your horizons, consider Outdoor Adventures! This program area within Campus Rec offers outdoor education workshops & technical skills training, outdoor camping, backpacking, and hiking trips, gear rental, bike rentals, self-service bike maintenance, rock climbing, and more! Outdoor Adventures encourages exploration and community building. “Through the Outdoor Adventure program, the the Climbing Center , and the Bike Shop , I have found passions that I will continue for the rest of my life,” said Monse Miranda, Outdoor Adventures staff member. “Both as a participant and staff member, Campus Rec has inspired lifelong adventure in me."
If fitness and wellness is your niche, you should know that there’s so much more to Campus Rec than just the Rec Center. To support your unique fitness journey, our staff provides group exercise, small group training, and personal training, all of which can be personalized to your individual needs. “Valuing fitness and wellness gives me the ability to participate in the adventures this world offers and trust that my body will be able to handle them,” said Hannah Stoliker, GVSU student. “Participating in Campus Rec programs, especially group exercise classes, has also helped me make new connections and relationships.”
Campus Rec reaches further to create a bridge to better health by offering programs beyond physical fitness. Examples of wellness programs provided by Campus Rec include: CPR, First Aid, & AED Training, Massage Therapy, and Nutrition Services. “As the Campus Rec Dietitian, I have so much fun helping students change eating habits and living healthier lives while creating a healthy, kind and flexible relationship with food and their body,” said Lori Schermers, Registered Dietitian. Additionally, the Injury Care Clinic and the Campus Health Center are services available to students, faculty, and staff. Campus Rec also partners with a variety of campus departments to sponsor wellness campaigns and initiatives, including Exam Cram, Love Your Body Week, and Unplugged.
Last but not least, if you’re just looking to get more involved on activities around campus, Campus Rec holds special events year round! Whether it be Live Eat RecFest or the Family Weekend 5K, there’s something for everyone! For more information on any of our programs, services, or events, visit the Campus Rec website or our events calendar, and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to stay updated on upcoming events and various program area deadlines.
Campus Rec also employs over 150 student staff each academic semester. Opportunities for employment vary from working at the Climbing Center or fixing up bikes to being a sport official, working in the office, or joining the marketing team. You can also become a group exercise instructor, teach swim lessons, or join our team as a fitness specialist. “Working for Campus Rec has been an amazing experience,” said Ally Kaza, GVSU student. “It has given me a lot of real world experience in the field of health and wellness, which is what I am interested in pursuing.” Apply for Campus Rec jobs on the Campus Rec Employment website. If you’d like to work at the Rec Center or Kelly Family Sports Center, visit Athletic and Recreation Facilities.
While Campus Rec promotes working out at the Rec Center, our department does not manage or staff the recreation facilities. Either way, students have access to the Rec Center, Bike Shop, Climbing Center, Instructional Fitness Studio, Dance Studio, outdoor courts and fields, indoor tracks and courts, and the pool at no cost.
Now that you have some insight into who we are and how we’re here to support you, we hope that you’ve found a few ways to get involved. And once you get involved, we can’t wait to hear your REC story through #whyiGVrec .
By: Alexis Smith