Empowering students to live healthier lifestyles

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Reinhardt University is well on its way to becoming a college with a healthy and active student body. The campus is focusing on providing more opportunities for students to participate in engaging group activities to boost morale when it comes to exercising and good mental health. These additions take shape in the form of nature trails, healthy food options, social events and an array of exercise classes.

Reinhardt University Trustee Gin Miller demonstrates how to properly exercise on the FITtrees she donated to the University for the Gin Miller Studio, located at the West apartments. Photo courtesy of Jeff Reed

Resident Assistant and junior Hannah Hale recently held an event centered around healthy diets and how to buy healthy foods on a budget, which included a yogurt bar with healthy food options and their prices and recipes for snacks. Attendees also had the option to participate in a Zumba dance class to elevate their heart rate and to get excited about a healthier lifestyle.

“Couponing and searching for ‘Deals of the Day’ are great ways to make your dollar last, especially if you have bills to pay, too,” Hale said.

Hale also suggests switching to less expensive alternatives such as frozen food instead of fresh ones.

Reinhardt offers many exercise-oriented classes to get fit while in a social setting. These classes are often taught by coaches “and are primarily used to teach students how to build an easy, safe routine to stick to,” said Dr. Walter May, assistant dean of Students and Director of Student Activities.

Reinhardt also offers classes that introduce students to the basics of camping and are in the process of creating academic classes focused around teaching students the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  This knowledge provides students with the tools to tackle the hiking trails located on campus. Daily walking, the least strenuous of physical activities, has been shown to “improve heart function and overall health,” May said. “Even just 30 minutes of walking a day improves brain function and academic performance.”

“Our goal is to create touchpoints for every student. Places where students can create bonds with peers and build lifelong friendships while also creating disciplines that will help them to create healthy routines even when life isn’t centered around walking to class every day,” he said.

May is currently trying to walk Reinhardt’s trails for at least 30 minutes every morning to get a jump start on an active day.

Along with these classes are social clubs and gatherings centered around getting outside and getting active. Junior Christian Gates participates in the Running Club of campus.

“I am a part of the Reinhardt Runners club. We meet every morning to do our daily run, not including weekends,” Gates said.

When Gates isn’t out running through Reinhardt’s beautiful campus, he goes to the Gin Miller Studio or partakes in Acro-Yoga. “It’s always a blast and it never feels like I’m working out.”

The Gin Miller Studio at Reinhardt University is an exercise studio donated by step aerobics inventor and Reinhardt University trustee, Gin Miller.

Miller teaches a class every Saturday, and her goal is to make exercise more accessible to women during their hectic life styles, which is why the decision to put the studio in the women’s apartment was made. Miller is training other teachers on campus to instruct classes so that Reinhardt can further expand the variety of group exercise activities it offers.

Reinhardt is making a goal to include faculty and students in their health makeover. By improving exercise techniques and eating habits, students pave the way for a brighter future. Freshman Jessie Fanczi , who also stays active on campus, said, “having a strong body is always an advantage regardless of where life takes you.”

Written by: Erin Laas

Photo provided by Jeff Reed | Reinhardt Office of Marketing and Communication

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