Monmouth Shapes Up with More Fitness Classes

This fall semester, the Fitness Center started offering several new fitness classes for students and faculty to attend during the week. From fat burning Pilates, to the ‘Biggest Loser’ club, the University is taking a turn into the fit and healthy lifestyle.

Jon Cascone, the Director of Intramurals and Recreation, added five new fitness classes, held in Boylan Gym and the Multipurpose Activity Center (MAC). There is now ‘Power Yoga,’ ‘Military Style Workout,’ ‘Toning for Pilates,’ ‘Fat Burning Pilates,’ and ‘Yoga, Ballet, Pilates Fusion.’ Due to the increase in classes, more available times for each session are now offered. Typically, classes are held any time from 10 am to 12 pm and 5:30 pm to 9 pm.

The wider range of classes and available times has also allowed many more students to attend the fitness classes. “Previously, the Zumba classes were only held on Tuesday nights at around 5:30 pm, but I could never go because I had class,” said Amanda Friedman, a communication major. “Now that they are offering more classes and more times, I’ve finally been able to actually get there, and can now choose whether I want to go before or after classes.”

According to Cascone, just having a fitness center did not seem to be enough for students or faculty that were looking to get into shape and pursue a healthy lifestyle. “Monmouth is trying to adapt to the growing trends in fitness by offering a different approach to exercise,” Cascone said. “[The classes] are more appealing to most people because it’s fun, it’s safe, and it doesn’t drag on like sitting on a bike or treadmill.”

Walking into a gym can be intimidating for some, but hosting free fitness classes also allows people the opportunity to feel ‘involved’ in something, and help them live a healthier lifestyle.

The new ‘Biggest Loser’ club was added by Cascone to help motivate students and faculty in weight-loss and healthy-living. Meetings are held once a week, usually in the MAC. There are two programs, one for students and one for faculty. Each meeting offers measurements to help participants track their success. At the end of each semester, those who attended the most events and meetings, created and kept up with food logs, and lost inches will have the chance to win a $125 gift card to the University store.

‘The Biggest Loser’ club members feel the club is a success due to the nutritionists and psychiatrists that have hosted meetings to help discuss the dangers of emotional eating and eating disorders. With the help and motivation from professionals, students and faculty are able to learn new tips and advice that can be associated with their eating and exercising habits. The meetings also offer a formula that calculates daily calorie intake for each participant.

Aside from these new classes, the Universtiy also offers ‘Boot Camp,’ ‘Zumba,’ ‘Yoga for Toning,’ and ‘Abs, Legs, & Butt.’ These sessions have been offered at the University over the last couple of years, but were only held during limited times of the day. Now with five new classes, students and faculty have more choices which allows more participants per class.

“Any opportunity for faculty, staff and students to be able to increase the amount of physical activity they get is positive,” says Andrea Hope, an assistant professor of health and physical education. “Physical activity reduces the risk for a variety of lifestyle and chronic health conditions and fosters physical, cognitive and emotional well-being. The more accessible these exercise programs are, the better.”

Along with the fitness classes and ‘Biggest Loser’ club, Cascone is hoping to also incorporate a spin class on campus. But in order to do so, the Fitness Center will need to invest in either bikes or portable bike stands that can be used for the classes. In time, Cascone also hopes to open the classes to those with fitness center memberships. Additionally, Cascone is looking to begin a University-based fitness blog, or sort of ‘social network’ that students and faculty can actively participate in for motivation and helpful advice to get healthy and in-shape.