Free FitWell group exercise classes offered at SLC

Free classes at the SLC are being offered until Sunday, and after that students can purchase a semester-long pass for limited classes for $50. Nathan De La Cerda | Multimedia Journalist

By Sophie Acebo | Reporter

Baylor Wellness Department’s FitWell program is offering free group exercise classes for students to participate in, with options like boxing, yoga and zumba.

The free classes are being offered until Sunday, and after that students can purchase a semester-long pass for limited classes for $50. The free classes are offered so students have the opportunity to try out different forms of exercise and find what works best for them.

FitWell has been a part of Baylor’s Wellness Department and the McLane Student Life Center (SLC) for about 15 years, and the program has created a variety of classes— around 70 per week— that allow students to find specific workouts that interest them.

This is something that Van Smith-Davis, assistant director of wellness, fitness and nutrition, is proud of when it comes to the program.

“Just by adding variety, you’re going to stick to it much better,” Smith-Davis said.

Smith-Davis also described a benefit of the Fitwell program as being the convenience of having a variety of workouts on campus, giving students the opportunity to walk to the SLC from their residence halls or in between classes, not something you could achieve at a traditional gym.

Another appeal of the FitWell program, according to Smith-Davis, is the inexpensive cost for classes in comparison to other gyms.

“If you come to just one class a week for a month, your $50 is paid for,” Smith-Davis said.

Smith-Davis said that the low cost for a semester full of various group exercise classes is a major appeal to the college student demographic, and is a major incentive for students to make sure they are staying on top of their health.

She hopes that the convenience and low cost helps convince students on the fence about purchasing a membership, stressing how important keeping up with physical activities is to maintain your health during school.

“If there’s one single thing that students can do while they’re at Baylor, I would say invest $50 on yourself to be academically successful, to have a better physical well-being and to also build that social atmosphere that we create through all the different classes,” Smith-Davis said.

Coronado, Calif., senior Roisin Lyons is a barre and dance workout instructor with the FitWell program. This is her first year being an official instructor, but she has been a personal trainer in the Wellness Department and has been teaching dance for over six years.

Lyons is also an exercise physiology major and is passionate about getting involved in the movement to keep Baylor’s campus fit and healthy. In her own life, she has seen exercise better her mentally and keep her leveled.

“I personally have found that I used to get really bad test anxiety, and if I work out right beforehand, my anxiety decreases because I associate that increased heart rate with something good,” Lyons said.

Lyons said that often times, actually going out to the SLC and taking advantage of these classes can be difficult, as looking at a schedule with so many group classes at once can seem overwhelming. If getting out of a daily routine and trying a group class alone is something that is keeping a student from trying the classes, Lyons recommends staying focused on yourself and your health.

“You never have to worry about someone else looking at you,” Lyons said. “They’re all trying to figure out what they’re doing.”

To see the fall 2019 FitWell class schedule, visit the program’s website.