The Wellness Centre and Rec Services Partner Up!
By: Chloe Stone, Debbie Thiessen, Hannah Stuart, Rose Holmes TWU Student Nurses Class of 2020
With Wellness as the theme for the University this year, The Wellness Centre focused on physical activity in September as the first of ongoing monthly themes, by partnering with Rec Services, as a resource for healthy living on campus. This first health objective of the year impacts wellness in almost every aspect of your life – physically, mentally, spiritually, and even academically.
· Physical activity is beneficial for mental health. One study found that 20-40 minutes of aerobic exercise can boost your mood and decrease anxiety for several hours (Mikkelsen et al., 2017).
· Physical activity can be viewed as a spiritual process. In an interview with Jared Ginter, Director of Athletic Facilities and Recreation at TWU, he relayed that his goal was for the student body to view recreation as a form of worship, a discipline through which we can draw closer to God.
· Exercise has been shown to improve brain functions such as learning and memory which can contribute to higher academic achievement (Mandolesi et al., 2018). This makes exercise an invaluable tool to help university students to succeed.
A survey conducted in fall 2017 by The Wellness Center found that 62.02% of students are serious about addressing their physical activity (TWU WNA, 2017). So, how can you become more involved in TWU recreation? In speaking with Ginter, we learned that as of this year, Rec Services is now under the umbrella of the School of Human Kinetics, generating some exciting changes in the programs offered. Rec Services goes beyond just physical activities. Ginter’s vision for Rec Services is to develop programs and partnerships across the university that encompass many aspects of wellness. This means that when you get involved with Rec Services, you are improving your physical health as well as addressing your social and spiritual needs.
Rec Services offers a variety of programs and resources to help you have fun, meet new friends, build new skills, and get active based on your interests and experience level. They provide intramurals, fitness classes, student trainers, equipment loans, and more. Whether you love running, Zumba, hip hop, soccer, weight lifting, climbing, or just want to try something new, there’s something for you. Go to twu.ca/recreation to connect with the program that fits for you or feel free to connect with Rowena Warkentin, TWU’s new Recreation Manager, who can get you going in the right direction.
Fellow students have identified that they want to start going the gym but feel intimidated or just don’t know where to start. Fear of the unknown can hold you back from taking the first steps to improve your physical fitness. This is why Rec Services is starting a buddy program. To help students overcome this initial obstacle, exercise beginners are paired with regular attendees of fitness classes or the Fitness Centre. If you’re interested in being paired with another student who can go to fitness classes with you or walk you through the first steps of getting connected with the gym, you can contact Michael Fama (). Another option is to connect with student trainers, who work with you to build a fitness plan tailored to meet your goals and teach you new exercises. If you sign up for a trainer with a friend or two, there is a significant discount. Working out can be a lot more fun with a partner – so grab your friend or sign up for a gym buddy and head to the Fitness Centre today! And no matter what stage of your physical fitness journey you are in, taking small steps now can lead to big payoffs in your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellness.
Mandolesi, L., Polverino, A., Montuori, S., Foti, F., Ferraioli, G., Sorrentino, P., Sorrentino, G. (2018). Effect of Physical Exercise on Cognitive Functioning and Wellbeing: Biological and Psychological Benefits. Front Psychol, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00509
Mikkelsen,K., Stojanovska, L., Polenakovic, M., Bosevski, M., & Apostolopoulos, V. (2017). Exercise and mental health. Maturitas, 106. 48-56. doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2017.09.003
TWU Wellness Needs Asssessment, 2017