It’s easier than ever to stay in shape at SAU

SAU students have fun and stay in shape at nightly Zumba classes held on campus.
SAU students have fun and stay in shape at nightly Zumba classes held on campus.

Every afternoon, Monday through Thursday, anyone walking through the Rogalski Center atrium is bound to hear excessive clapping and upbeat Latin music blaring from the ballroom. That would be the sound of Zumba, one of the many fitness classes offered by campus recreation this semester.

Although the classes have only been in session for three weeks, an increase in participants is already evident. As a result of increased interest, campus recreation has opted to add two more daily fitness classes to its weekly routine. This brings the total number of opportunities for students to work out as a group to 13.

The fitness classes that are offered free for students, faculty and staff have seen around 40 to 60 participants per class in the first two weeks, according to the new wellness coordinator, Leanne Kulchawik.

“It’s definitely growing,” Kulchawik said.

Combined, the classes recorded a total of 410 participants in the first week of classes, which started on August 26, while Labor Day week saw only 234 participants because it was a shorter week. The classes are geared toward students, and Kulchawik sees that as the main reason for the popularity.

“It is a fun opportunity for students to work out and stay in shape,” Kulchawik said.

The best part is that every class is free to all students; all they need to bring is their student ID and a friend.

The two new classes this semester are taught by junior Ali Cowell in an effort to help students to strengthen themselves and work towards the healthy people they want to be.

“I teach muscular training and morning core where we use body weight, free weight and other equipment to help strengthen and tone muscles as well as enhance agility and power for overall performance,” Cowell said. Cowell’s Muscular Training class is offered from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday night in Hayes 114N. She can also be found teaching Morning Core in the Lee Lohman Dance Studio on Wednesday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m.

Ann Austin teaches the Trim and Tone and Pilates classes because she wants to promote fitness, among women especially. Trim and Tone works toward strengthening muscles while doing eventually up to 100 repetitions. She gears her Pilates classes to work on breathing, control, core strengthening and concentration.

“I enjoy working with young people here at St. Ambrose, encouraging them to get in the lifelong habit of physical activity,” Austin said.

She said she is thrilled that the numbers keep increasing from the very few that attended when her classes first started. “It is gratifying and encouraging to see so many students interested in living healthier lives,” Austin said. All of Austin’s classes are held in the Rogalski Center Ballroom from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. with Trim and Tone on Mondays and Wednesdays and Pilates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Zumba classes are taught by Bri Bellman on Monday and Wednesday nights from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Rogalski Center Ballroom while Olivia Bratt leads Zumba on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. with an additional class on Thursday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 a.m. Zumba allows anyone, no matter their dancing skills, to build confidence while having fun and working out.

With the increased interest in these programs, campus recreation is excited to implement its new wellness program in October. According to Kulchawik, they hope to work with other departments and sponsor events open for the students. Eventually students will have to sign up for the program and earn prizes, but Kulchawik said they are still in the planning process.

A detailed list of the classes can be found on the campus recreation website as well as any upcoming news on the new wellness program.


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