By Annaleise Parsons | Staff Writer
FitWell classes are being offered for free for the first time for all Baylor students, faculty, staff and spouses this spring semester in both live-stream and in-person formats starting Feb. 8 at the Baylor Student Life Center.
There are 35 free classes available, ranging from yoga to Bollywood dancing to BearCycle. Last semester, the fee for FitWell classes was $50.
“The reason we made [FitWell Classes] free for our students because … if we stay active during COVID and build up our immune system through physical activity, we are able to be stronger in fighting this pandemic,” Van Smith-Davis, Baylor’s assistant director of wellness, fitness and nutrition said.
In a research study published by the Nature Public Health Emergency Collection, experts wrote, “regular practice of adequate intensity is suggested as an auxiliary tool in strengthening and preparing the immune system for COVID-19.”
Other benefits of FitWell classes include weight management, stress relief and a community experience by working out with other people.
The FitWell team has put in place numerous COVID-19 precautions including the instructor and participants wearing masks, each participant bringing their own workout towel and setting a physical distance of 10 feet between each person. Sanitation supplies are available to clean equipment both before and after the class.
“Last semester we had zero incidents of COVID-19 in our program and that was huge. We’re going to take the same policies, the same procedures and put it into this semester. We have larger spaces to do the classes as well.” Smith-Davis said.
Because of COVID-19, FitWell classes are being limited to a certain number of people due to space. Students, faculty and staff can sign up for classes online after registration through a free online service called IMLeagues.
“To ensure that everyone has an equal chance to register for classes, registration will open 24 hours prior to the class of your choice,” Nich Oran, the FitWell graduate assistant, said in an email to new FitWell members. “Additionally, there will be a waitlist for each class. The waitlist will automatically add you to the class if someone registered drops out, up until one hour before the class.”