QuadWorks hosts Get Fit Week

Mary Lathem

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In college, time-consuming coursework, rising stress levels and an abundance of inexpensive, convenient fast food can often cause students to create unhealthy habits and to forgo normal exercise routines. Mercer students were inspired to break this trend and take charge of their physical fitness and health during Get Fit Week, a special QuadWorks event held from Sept. 22 to Sept. 26. Each day of the week, students were invited to attend events focused on improving overall health and wellness while having fun. After attending at least two of the five offered events, students received a free QuadWorks tank top to wear while exercising.

The week’s schedule began with “Fitness 101: Get Fit, Don’t Quit!” – a motivational lecture hosted by fitness expert Robin Colburn Castro, a group fitness instructor at Mercer’s University Center Gym. Castro addressed the issues of healthy eating, weight loss, weight gain and proper exercise.

Throughout the lecture, Castro stressed the importance of consistent weight training along with cardio: “Cardio makes the number on the scale go down, and I know it is a great feeling to see that,” Castro said, “But once you reach your goal weight, you will realize that you are just a smaller version of the same unhealthy person you were before. Consistent weight training firms and sculpts your body as you lose weight, and I promise you will love what you see in the mirror when you reach your goal.”

Castro also distributed a list of healthy fast food choices and their nutrition facts, making it simpler to choose healthier options at the drive-thru. “I know it’s unreasonable for college students to cook all of their own meals, and everyone makes occasional trips to fast food restaurants,” Castro said, “but something as simple as swapping a grilled chicken sandwich for your usual fried one when you have to grab food on the go can make a huge difference in the long run.” Castro concluded her lecture by opening up the floor for students to voice their health questions.

The remaining events of the week focused on a common idea: that keeping your body healthy does not have to be a chore. Tuesday’s event was a yoga class hosted by Pure Wellness Yoga in the UC gym. Participating students learned about the importance of balance, flexibility and relaxation. On Wednesday, students were treated to healthy smoothie samples provided by Smoothie King in the lobby of the Connell Student Center. Thursday, participants amped up the intensity (and their heart rates) with a high powered kickboxing session that tested agility and strength. The last event of the week, Zumba, was a cleverly disguised full body workout in the form of Latin dance. Squats, lunges and muscle group isolations mixed with upbeat salsa dance moves allowed the group to shake off stress while working up a sweat.

Keeping a regular exercise schedule and eating plenty of nutritional food can be difficult tasks in college, but QuadWorks’ Get Fit Week encouraged students to find time to prioritize health and fitness with a variety of events for all fitness levels.

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