When fitness options for students are limited to a small weight room that is so overflowed with athletes and equipment that people are forced to use in the hallway, living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult and intimidating.
You may not know this, but Albion College faculty have the opportunity to participate in a variety of group and individual workouts throughout the day in the faculty only workout facility called the Depot, located behind Ferguson. These classes range from weight circuits to Pilates and yoga. The variety of times and options allows faculty to workout at their convenience and provides faculty with fun options that fit their needs.
Many of these classes are run by college students who are certified to teach specific exercise courses, yet these classes are not open to students. Although the faculty has access to the student workout facility, students do not have the same opportunity to participate in the workout classes offered to faculty, even when there is ample space available.
Since Albion is in a rural community, there are minimal gym options. Many students find themselves taking hour long trips to Ann Arbor for yoga classes, kick boxing and weightlifting because they cannot take the workout courses offered due to the college’s credit limits. Because of these limited options, it is even more essential that Albion College invests in the training to help students live healthy lives.
Michael Knight, personal trainer and wellness coach based in West Bloomfield, has worked with many high profile clients including Justin Abdelkader from the Red Wings and Chris Hemsworth from Thor. He emphasized the importance of the college having a trainer because they can help create a healthy structure in a college student’s life. This structure holds students accountable with the choices they make involving both food and physical activity.
I feel that if students had access to wellness programs that held them accountable, their overall wellness would drastically increase. According to the American Intercontinental University, exercise stimulates brain cell development, improves memory retention and relieves stress.
The college took a step in the right direction when Sunny Kim, a first-year student from Midland, recently held her first Zumba class at Albion College. This class was open to both faculty and students, allowing the entire campus the opportunity to reap the rewards of having a certified teacher.
“It’s important for students to have those [fitness] resources because not everyone is going to be comfortable going to the gym and having people watch while they try to workout,” said Kim.
Kim had over 30 people come to her class on the first day, the majority being students. The demand for her class shows how eager students are for fitness and wellness opportunities.
In order for the college to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst students, they need to implement a wellness program that provides students with the support and structure they need. This wellness program will allow students the opportunity to learn how to live healthy lifestyles consistently.
Sunny Kim teaches Zumba every Monday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the KC Stacks.
Photo by Morgan Garmo