Taylor Gym to offer free nutrition and fitness workshops


After introducing nutrition office hours last school year, Taylor Gym will now offer free weekly fitness office hours and monthly fitness and nutrition workshops.

These workshops, which will be held on the first Friday of each month, are led by Lehigh’s dietitian Carrie Gerencher and Genna Albano, the assistant manager of fitness and instructional programs and a certified personal trainer.

Fitness office hours will be held on Mondays from 5-7 p.m. Students can drop in to learn more about Lehigh’s various fitness programs or ask questions such as how to use equipment found in the gym. From the group exercise program to personal trainers, Taylor Gym offers a variety of paid services student can use to gain new fitness insight.

Albano, however, wanted to incorporate free services to allow students to learn new health and fitness habits.

“I want to make my services available as a certified personal trainer to all students,” Albano said. “And, if it can’t be me, I have another certified fitness professional to offer 15 minutes of advice or questions people might have.”

Through the personalized fitness office hours, Albano can see what questions students have and what their needs might be.

The 15-minute office hours are not meant to be training sessions, Albano said, but rather informational to all students who attend.

On Friday afternoons, Gerencher holds office hours from 1-3 p.m. in Taylor Gym. Gerencher, a certified dietitian, said many students attended her nutrition office hours last year, and now she wants to reach more students. The idea to combine the two topics came from interests students expressed in the past.

“We decided to get rid of the Monday (nutrition) hours because Friday hours seemed to be packed,” Gerencher said. “I always encourage students to sign up for them online, on my sheet outside my door or by emailing me.”

If those office hour options don’t work for students, they can meet with her and Albano at the fitness and nutrition workshop series.

Although the office hours will be held on a weekly basis, Albano and Gerencher also decided to offer a workshop once a month in Taylor Gym, addressing common topics, themes and questions they have received from students throughout their time at Lehigh.

The first free nutrition and fitness workshop was held Sept. 8 and was titled, “Finding a Healthy Balance — Eating, Exercise and Stress Management.” Albano and Gerencher paired up with counselors from Counseling and Psychological Services to talk with students about efficient ways to handle the stress of college life.

Shubha Havaldar, ’18G, was one of the first students to attend the workshop series Friday. When she received an email from Albano, she realized the workshops would suit her needs.

“I’ve been planning to get a consultation for nutrition, and I wasn’t sure who to approach or who to meet,” Havaldar said.

Gerencher provided students with a packet titled “Quick & Easy Dorm Recipes” complete with her favorite healthy recipes that are easy for students to make, as well as a handout with 10 tips for healthy eating in the dining hall.

The upcoming topics for the workshop series include outdoor recreation activities and planning snacks, proper hydration and strength training, and healthy holidays — staying in shape and eating healthy over the holidays.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Gerencher holds office hours on Fridays from 1-3 p.m. at her office in Rathbone Hall, however, the office hours are held in Taylor Gym.

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