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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Rec Center institutes fitness challenge for the new year

Every January 1, multitudes enter the gym with New Year’s resolutions and goals to a healthier fit self. Each year the Carleton Recreation Center implements a program to help, by sponsoring a nine week fitness challenge. The main goal of this challenge does not stray far from the Rec Center’s motto: “Think Positively, Exercise Daily, Eat Healthy and Stay Strong.”

Mikki Showers, Director of Recreational Sports & Manager Recreation Center, explains, “This challenge is meant to try and maintain a strong balanced community and offer something to do over the winter.”

Jenna Kuhlman, a fitness specialist at the Rec, designed the program. She said, “The whole idea of the fitness challenge for me is to get more people moving and staying healthy. Workplace, schoolwork and other things get in the way most of the day but having a fitness challenge hopefully gets people realizing they have only a few exercises to do and will decrease their stress level and feel happier and healthier.” With this in mind, Kuhlman has created a short, yet rigorous program that consists of four complete days of working out and every fifth day is a rest day. A typical day contains 15-20 reps of squats, jumping jacks, lunges, situps and/or mount climbers with 30 seconds of planks and some sort of added cardio. By completing each work out, you are awarded a point. You can earn up to six points each day by completing the gym workout and equipment-less workout. You can add three points each day you complete 40 minutes of cardio.

The Recreation Center “feel[s] it is a comprehensive plan for all fitness levels, either at a gym or anywhere” and is accessible to anyone. Jenna will work with those who need substitutions, modifications or just have questions about the exercises. In addition, the exercises do not need a gym or weights and can be simply done at home or in the comfort of your dorm room. The focus of these exercises is strength and cardio. She believes in both “incorporating simple exercises for those that are new to strength training and complex exercises that work the same muscle groups but have a little more complex movement.”

Right now, there are 52 participants in the challenge. This includes 17 staff members, three faculty members, 29 students and three spouses or partners. The flexibility of the program allows for participants to tailor it to their own needs and desires. Regardless of the user, the challenge can be used “to start moving, stay motivated, or to have an extra push in their regular exercise routine.”

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