Group classes relieve stress, add to health for college students

Apr 30, 2021 | Students, Tech Family

There are dozens of benefits of exercise, especially for college students. According to MedlinePlus, an online information service created by the United States National Library of Medicine, exercise can improve mental health along with physical health, reduce stress, improve sleep and help a person quit bad habits.

The Lambright Sports and Wellness Center has several opportunities to be active, including numerous group exercise classes.

Joann Davis has been the instructor of the group fitness classes for almost four years. She said that prior to working at Lambright she had never taught group fitness. She only had experience in personal training, but she said she enjoys group classes more.

“They’ve forced me to stay in shape, but to also continue learning about fitness and exercise in general. Also hearing the success stories of those who come to my classes is so uplifting to me,” Davis said. “I’ve met some incredible people in my classes that I never would’ve met otherwise, and I try in every way I can to be a role model to the participants as well.”

She said the United States is sedentary compared to most of the world and that she has the mindset that anything that gets people moving more than usual is going to be beneficial.

Sadie McGuire, a senior kinesiology and health sciences major, said she has participated in turbo kick, spin, yoga and full body classes with Davis. She said she loved them because Davis would explain everything and provided modifications and personal instructors when needed.

“Exercise is incredibly important for mental and physical health and wellbeing
and it has been proven that group classes increase the likelihood that someone will stick with an exercise program,” McGuire said. “They are also great for beginners to exercise, as they can go and be provided with guided instruction so that they aren’t just thrown in the gym to figure it out alone, which greatly increases the injury risk.”

Rylie Jones, a freshman elementary education major, said she has participated in the spin class offered and said that she found the class to be beneficial.

“It was challenging, but I left the class feeling really good and I like keeping a record of the workout on my watch, so seeing how many calories I lose is rewarding,” Jones said. “I do feel as if it would benefit others. It is definitely a rewarding experience; you will leave feeling relieved.”

While the classes have several benefits, they are not for the faint hearted.

“I’ve taken them on and off. They are very difficult and tiring, definitely not something I could do every day,” Jones said. “Come prepared to work hard, sweat a lot and you will leave there sore.”

Davis said exercise can improve a person’s overall quality of life and that creating a habit of exercise now can have a lasting effect on a person’s health in the years to come.

“Come and try out group fitness at Lambright,” Davis said. “Bring your friends as well.”

This story by Communication student Shiloh Taylor.