GVSU offers programs to get in shape and to heal

GVL / Amy Hammond

A student works out in the Rec Center at GVSU

Amy Hammond

GVL / Amy Hammond A student works out in the Rec Center at GVSU

Hannah Matro

Grand Valley State University strives to promote healthy lifestyles and mindsets throughout every corner of campus.

At Grand Valley State University, healthy living is not only a mindset, but a practice. Take the campus Recreation Center, for example, who hosted a free event called “Test Your Limits” last week, in which students and faculty could assess their strength, endurance and flexibility based on completion of push-ups, abdominal crunches, wall sits and sit-and-reach testing.

A more involved and intense way to improve overall wellness is the six week program entitled TRX Suspension Training Program, a new session for GVSU students, faculty and staff.

Participants will learn to use a new piece of equipment, the TRX Suspension Trainer, a training tool that uses the individual’s body weight and gravity to complete several exercises and effectively improves overall strength, flexibility, stability and power. The class will teach participants how to effectively and safely use the tool to make working out both more fun and more beneficial.

“The beauty of this type of training is that you can adjust the intensity level to an entire spectrum of abilities – beginners all the way to professional athletes use the TRX,” said Lee Mclaughlin, fitness graduate student.

The first session of training was last week, and all but a few spots were filled. Next week, the same results are expected, as only two spots remain open at this point. Hopes for the new program are high, and attendance is predicted to grow.

“We look forward to the future of TRX,” Mclaughlin said.

The TRX class meets once a week from 7:30-8:15 p.m. on Tuesdays. For more information, contact the Fitness and Wellness Center at (616) 331-3659 or go directly to the office. The cost for the program is $10.

A less intense program with a softer approach to fitness is the free Healing Yoga that meets weekly Thursdays between Sept. 13-Dec. 6 from 7-7:45 p.m. (Except for Nov. 22). This program was formed from an alliance between the Rec Center and the Women’s Center about a year ago.

“The program was initiated in the spirit of the Grand Valley State University Women’s Center three-year, $265,000 U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) campus grant,” said Theresa Rowland of the Women’s Center. The grant is designed to strengthen our response to sexual assault, stalking, dating and domestic violence and to enhance collaboration among campus and community partner.”

While the intention of the program is to aid those who have been sexually traumatized, the program is in no way exclusive and welcomes all to support those who attend Healing Yoga for more serious reasons.

“Understanding how sexual trauma can impact people, this program allows for physical and emotional healing, it helps with managing stress, anxiety and depression,” Rowland said.

Faculty, staff and students are equally welcome and do not have to pre-register to enjoy the benefits of these yoga sessions, which are taught by certified instructors through Campus Rec.

“The goal is to utilize yoga in a safe environment to reduce stress and anxiety while encouraging self-acceptance and personal (fitness),” said Shannon Kaza, yoga instructor.

Those who attend will learn how stretching, controlled breathing and relaxation exercises can affect their health, well-being and state of mind. The goal of Healing Yoga is to address both physical and emotional issues. It is held in the Kelly Family Turf Building.

The Women’s Center also offers healing for sexually traumatized persons through Eyes Wide Open, a sexual assault peer education student organization that hosts large-scale campus programs aimed at raising awareness. Active bystander skills are also taught through a program called ReACT!, an anti-violence peer theatre program.

In addition to these programs and Healing Yoga, “the GVSU Women’s Center provides advocacy support and individual resources and referral for students that have experienced sexual assault and does ongoing educational programming for faculty, staff and students,” Rowland said.

For more information, contact the Women’s Center at (616) 331-2748 or www.gvsu.edu/women_cen.

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