Fitness center helps students get healthy

Miriam Daniel used to be a member at the fitness club Legends, but because of the price and because of the distance from her house, she decided to go to the Campus Recreational Center.

“They have the same equipment and the same classes,” said the 22-year-old senior business management student from Birmingham, Ala.

A unique program that is offered by the recreation center is the 60-Day Body Makeover Challenge. Every semester participants engage in a rigorous exercise and nutrition program that includes cardio, step aerobics, keeping a food journal and bi-weekly consultations.

“I felt like I was on a roll. I actually saw results. I liked it,” said Jessica Simon, 22, a fifth year MBA student from Birmingham the third-place winner of the challenge.

Stacey Adams, 24, a business administration student from Orlando said she enjoyed the food journal and her challenge.

“I think I ate better, once I was able to see what I was eating. I’m a lot more conscious of what I eat now, ” Adams said.

Andrew Kwong, a trainer and the cardio-kickboxing instructor, said the programs offered by the recreation center allow more one-on-one instruction because the classes are smaller.

Cardio-kickboxing, one of the most popular classes that the recreation center offers, is designed to give the body a full workout and maintain tone. The basics of cardiovascular exercise-running and stepping-are combined with the dynamics of kickboxing-sharp, fast moves-to provide a premium workout that increases both heart rate and muscle tone.

The cardio-kickboxing is a limited-space course, with the maximum number of students being between 20 and 24 people. Classes are held on Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m.

One of the new programs that the recreation center offers is a Kenpo self-defense course, which is taught by Ken Schaffer on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m.

Kwong said unlike other martial arts or self-defense courses, Kenpo focuses on what a person should do if they are in the process of being assaulted and “what to do when it’s already too late.”

Hip-hop aerobics, a workout in which people get to move to music, is taught by Danielle Jabba. Jabba said hip-hop aerobics is a great workout for the heart and all muscle groups.

Some weights are used, but the class mostly consists of dance aerobics. Hip-hop aerobics is taught on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. and Fridays at 4:00p.m and 6:00 p.m.

For people who like to get fit in a serene setting, yoga classes, which focus on mental relaxation and increasing flexibility, are taught by Pamela Hunter and are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:00 p.m.

Described by Kwong as “a break out of your day,” the focus of yoga is mental relaxation and increasing flexibility.

Other amenities that are provided by the center include “Abs and Butts,” which is held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays, body composition assessments every Monday at from 10:00 a.m. to noon and “Ladies’ Night,” which is held every Tuesday and Thursday night from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m.

Rebecca Wilkerson, 20, a junior theatre performance student from Miami, participated in the body sculpting classes taught by Yero Smith.

“If you’re serious and dedicated, it’s really easy. It’s an excellent way to get your heart rate up. It’s wonderful. I go to the gym daily,” Wilkerson said.

For more information, call the Campus Recreation Center at 599-3785.

Contact Latoya Hunter at