Campus recreation provides holistic fitness classes

By Meredith Foster – foster@unca.edu – Staff Writer

Instructor Ashley Edwards leads students and faculty participants in Yogalates, a class that combines basic yoga and Pilates practices. Photo by Harper Spires - Staff Photographer.
Instructor Ashley Edwards leads students and faculty participants in Yogalates, a class that combines basic yoga and Pilates practices. Photo by Harper Spires – Staff Photographer.

UNC Asheville’s campus recreation provides free health and fitness programs for students.

“Our programs are about more than just working out to get a hot body for the club,” said Erin Sattler, a group fitness instructor and personal trainer.

Students can attend fitness classes for free on campus multiple times a week throughout the year.

“Our goal is to serve students in co-curricular activity,” said Aleen Dailey, assistant director of campus recreation.

One of the ways they serve the student body is by providing free group fitness classes throughout the week, Dailey said.

“Already this semester, we have had 2,100 students involved in group fitness classes,” Dailey said. “Last semester we had a total of around 4,000.”

According to Dailey, campus recreation offers 21 group fitness classes this semester including yoga, pilaties, Zumba, abs blast and personal training.

“Fitness routines provide a release as well as promote physical wellness,” Dailey said. “The classes we have to offer are designed to appeal to more than just those interested in physical fitness.”

Campus recreation offers classes that pertain to all of the dimensions of wellness, Dailey said.

“Asheville is very unique in the types of fitness they prefer,” Dailey said. “We try to provide a variety and give the students what they want.”

A unique service provided by campus recreation is a free personal training program called Built Like a Bulldog, Sattler said.

“This is the best value program that UNCA offers,” Sattler said. “There are not many places that you can get one-on-one instruction for free.”

Sattler is one of many students that trained to become a group fitness teacher.

“I taught Zumba before I came to UNCA, but after talking to Aleen, I got involved in teaching multiple classes a week,” Sattler said.

Sattler teaches three classes a week this semester: Fit-in-5, abs blast and Zumba.

“A continual exercise routine is more beneficial than people think,” Sattler said. “It can serve as stress management, as well as anxiety relief.”

Students also said the large amount of fitness classes makes it easy to find one that fits their schedules.

“I love the fit-in-5 class, because it’s so short and convenient to my schedule,” said Kalya Lea, a freshman from Indiana.

Fit-in-5 is a 30-minute tabata-style class that maximizes calorie burn and full-body strengthening in just five exercises.

“I usually come by myself, but I feel like my friends would really enjoy it. I always feel immediately sore,” Lea said. “I really didn’t work out a lot before I came to college, but the fitness classes are built around my class schedule, so it makes it so easy to build a routine.”

Fit-in-5 follows the 15-minute abs blast class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both classes are offered during the campus-wide class break.

“Yogalates is another one of my favorite classes. It’s insane – it’s a really deep stretch, but it also works the hell out of you,” Lea said.

Yogalates is a combination of yoga and pilates fused to promote full-body toning as well as a stretching experience.

“Many of the students don’t know about everything that we have to offer,” Sattler said. “But more often than not, students are hesitant to come to classes because they’re afraid of being embarrassed.”

Group fitness classes don’t necessarily mean all the students are on the same level.

“All of our teachers can provide modifications to make the exercises easier or harder depending on what the students want,” Sattler said.

Fitness classes are designed for the students to get what they want out of it, Sattler said.

“To start all my Zumba classes, I tell all of my students that I don’t care what they look like, as long as they’re moving and having a good time,” Sattler said.

If students are nervous about coming to a group class alone, they can bring a friend. Most fitness classes, with the exception of spin class, don’t require sign-up. Students can show up at the door.

“We can always make room for more,” Sattler said. “We are always looking to build student interest and increase class sizes.”

If group classes are too intimidating, one-on-one training is always an option.

“All of our classes are non-judgmental. We just want to help students build and maintain overall fitness,” Sattler said.

UNCA is the only school in North Carolina that has a building specifically dedicated to health and wellness. The majority of fitness classes are held in the Sherrill Center.

“The majority of our funding comes from student fees that are included in tuition,” Aleen said. “This is one of reasons we are so feedback-based.”

The Sherrill Center provides many resources for students to maximize their overall wellness. Campus recreation provides students with information on how to use it.

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