In an effort to emphasize that working out can be fun and doesn’t have to be intimidating, Taylor Gym employees organized Lehigh’s first Student Fitness Week.
In previous years, the gym held a student workout incentive program through which students could win t-shirts by tracking their workouts. Genna Albano, the assistant manager and Les Mills elite instructor at Taylor Gym, said the program was completely revised into Student Fitness Week.
“We decided to go big and think outside the box because last year, the previous program only had about 40 students attending,” Albano said. “The goal is to have students active in healthy ways and it’s part of our job here at the gym to help get students moving.”
All students are welcome to participate in the events that started April 23 and will continue until April 28. Activities vary throughout the week and include running, Zumba, racquetball, squash, golf, rock climbing and boot camp workouts.
Though Student Fitness Week doesn’t include any specific fitness instruction, Taylor Gym provides several educational resources outside of the week, including nutrition office hours and beginner lifting workshops for women. Employees plan to incorporate educational events in next year’s Student Fitness Week.
The week’s kick-off event, “On the Go with Saxbys Joe,” was held April 23 at 8 a.m. Six students came for the 4-mile run, and Albano believed the low turnout was because it was held on a Monday morning. She said she expected a better turnout at the other events throughout the week.
The second event on Monday — a bootcamp hosted by Lehigh’s strength and conditioning coaches — had a larger turnout than the morning. Various varsity athletes volunteered to assist the trainers in running the bootcamp.
“The boot camp was a lot of fun,” field hockey player Stephanie Brabender, ’21, said. “The people who came worked really hard and they definitely put their best foot forward.”
Student Fitness Week offers incentives beyond getting a workout. Every student who participates in an event can enter their name in a raffle, for which the winners will be announced at the end of the week. The prizes include a Lehigh-Lafayette 2018 ticket, a semester’s worth of fitness classes at Taylor Gym, apparel and gift cards to several off-campus restaurants.
Vice Provost for Student Affairs Ric Hall, an avid racquetball player, held a racquetball contest during the week.
“I started playing racquetball my first year of undergrad and have been playing on and off ever since,” Hall said. “It’s been about 30 years now.”
Hall said he and the participating students played to five points and if the student won, Hall would buy the student lunch. The challenge took place on April 24 and 26.
Other highlights of the week include a pool party on Wednesday night, and the inflatable night and carnival on April 27 on the basketball court. The following night, a dodgeball tournament will complete the week’s events. Several of the late-night events were organized in partnership with Lehigh After Dark.
The week’s events were sponsored by various local businesses such as Playa Bowls and Deja Brew.
“These places have been very generous in helping,” Albano said. “They are always willing to partner up and support activities at Lehigh.”