Mercyhurst’s Recreation and Fitness Center, commonly called the Rec Center, offers a variety of services to all students. The most recent addition is the return of fitness classes. After being on hold for COVID-19 restrictions, instructors are returning to teach self-defense, Zumba, kickboxing, Pilates, spin and yoga. These classes are offered at a variety of times from morning to night during the weekdays. They can be found and signed up for on the Vagaro app. Students are asked to check in at the service desk to let them know they are there for classes.
Apart from spin, all classes are held in the dance room where it is closed off for those not attending the class to offer more space and privacy for those involved.
A part of the Sisters of Mercy Mission is to “extend hospitality and reach out in compassion to others.” To accomplish this, Mercyhurst encourages students to be balanced in mind, spirit, and body to feel empowered to make changes not only in their own lives, but in the lives of others. This goes along with having a safe space to workout or learn self-defense tactics to feel the inner confidence to help others. Not only is health and wellness important to the Sisters, but it is incredibly important for all of us in our own daily lives.
The obvious benefits include reducing the risk of developing dangerous medical conditions including Type 2 diabetes, some cancers and cardiovascular disease. Exercise can also help in daily life, such as in moving boxes back into your apartment and up the stairs after spring break. The more subtle benefits of daily physical activity include feeling more confident and comfortable in your own body, while also feeling empowered to defend yourself if you ever need to.
Caitlyn Nowak, junior Management and Marketing major, Music minor, is a Zumba instructor at the Rec Center and encourages all students to join classes.
“Students should sign up for classes because they are a fun and engaging way to stay active,” said Nowak. “It is a great way for students to switch things up from their everyday exercise routine and get exercise in a new and exciting way.”
Students of all fitness levels are encouraged to join and one does not need to have a high level of fitness in order to use the REC center.
“Students should not leave classes feeling like they don’t belong,” said Nowak. “Instructors will format their classes where you don’t need any prior experience in order to enjoy yourself.”
Instructors of these classes take inclusion very seriously, as it is important for students to feel empowered through movement practice.
“I create an upbeat, judgment-free environment for any Zumba classes and genuinely want everyone to enjoy their time with me! You do not need to know how to dance in order to sign up, it’s just about having fun, feeling confident in yourself, and boosting your health and wellness,” said Nowak.
Exercise can take many forms. Not everyone is comfortable or even knows how to workout in a gym. That’s why these classes are a great introduction to the world of fitness. You never know where they may lead you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. Be sure to keep up with the Rec Center’s Twitter page @HurstRecCenter for updates on classes, gym hours, and cancellations.