Renovated East Campus rec proves popular
Recreation and Wellness Center boasts more space, expanded programs
Students can de-stress after studying with a massage, improve their performance on the greens with the golf simulator, amp up their fitness level or learn how to cook healthy at the Recreation and Wellness Center on East Campus.
When the renovated center, formerly the East Campus Activities Building, opened in July 2015, staff member Sherri Tompkins predicted that usage would soar.
That prediction quickly came true. About 200 to 250 participants used the old facility on weekdays. The average since the renovation is 800 to 1,000, said Tompkins, assistant director for member services. The center doesn’t event track all of the individuals using the conference room, massage therapy, demonstration kitchen and some of the wellness classes.
“The increase in use is probably due to many factors, including more space for different activities that we couldn’t do before,” Tompkins said.
That includes a second basketball court that also provides space for activities such as dodgeball and soccer, the walking/running track and additional fitness classes.
The old strength training and conditioning equipment has been replaced with new and more varied equipment.
“I am surprised by how active the strength training area on the first floor is at some times of the day," Tompkins said. "Nevertheless, you can always get in a good workout, as it’s not too crowded in one of our many other areas."
As the name indicates, the Recreation and Wellness Center is more than a place to exercise. It also has a wellness component that includes programs, classes and special events.
The Wellness Kitchen offers hands-on cooking classes and demonstrations led by a cooking coach. Participants are encouraged to come hungry because they get to sample the food that is cooked. Topics include simple nutrition for weekdays, how to build a healthy lunchbox and 30-minute meals.
Nutrition consultations provide personalized nutrition advice to help participants meet their goals, including general nutrition, sports nutrition and how nutrition plays a role in medical issues.
The Fit + Fueled four-week sessions include a nutrition consultation, a weekly "Fueled" series focused on helping participants explore their body’s relationship with food, weekly instructor-led fitness classes and personalized workout plans.
The center also sponsors wellness events such Diabetes Alert Day and National Walk@Lunch Day. Some of the center’s programs are electronic, including Student Health 101, a monthly online student journal tailored to issues pertinent to students’ health and 7 on the 7th, a seven-minute workout that center members are encouraged to do throughout the day.