By Elly Spencer
Baylor Fitness will give the university’s freshmen a chance to mingle and learn healthy habits today in an effort to help them combat the dreaded freshman 15.
For the first time, the department will sponsor the Freshman Fall Festival from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. today at the Minglewood Bowl outside of Brooks Village.
Van Davis, assistant director for fitness and nutrition, said the festival will serve as a tool to help educate incoming freshmen about ways to stay active during a new and hectic period of their lives.
Davis said that while they are focusing on the freshmen population with this event, anyone on campus is welcome to attend.
“One of the biggest reasons that we want to put this event on is because we realize that we have a huge population of freshmen coming in,” Davis said. “We want to further our health mission to them.”
Baylor received its largest class in its 169-year history this August, with enrollment surging nearly 13 percent from last year. This increase beats the 2010 freshman enrollment record of 3,259 individuals.
The festival will consist of exercise classes, snacks and door prizes. Door prizes include a free Group X membership worth $50 and several bundles of T-shirts, Baylor cups and workout towels.
Austin freshman Amanda Abernethy said since coming to Baylor she has seen a change in the time she has available to stay fit.
“I have always been so fit and weight wasn’t a huge issue for me,” Abernethy said. She said she uses a majority of her leisure time in between classes at work.
Instructors and staff for the McLane Student Life Center shared the same thoughts on these difficulties.
Austin junior Sheridan Aspy, a yoga instructor for the event, said that many freshmen go through dramatic lifestyle changes when they leave home.
“Most freshmen have a hard time balancing their schedules at first, which can then lead to poor exercise and dieting habits,” Aspy said.
The festival will be an opportunity for programs offered through the department to reach out to the underclassmen of Baylor and to help them manage time and stress, Aspy said.
“I’m not sure most students know what most of the classes offer,” she said. “It sounds like a great way for people to see what they are paying for before they just purchase their membership.”
Davis said the event seeks to encourage freshmen to try the many Group X and Bearobics classes offered, motivate them to work out together and give them a way to find support on campus.
“It’s much more fun working out with a group of people instead of just working out by yourself,” Davis said. “Students are more likely to stay active with a group of people.”