A Quick (and Free) Class for Fun and Fitness

A Zumba class from last semester

A Zumba class from last semester

If you’ve ever been tempted by its upbeat tempo and dance moves, now’s your chance to give Zumba a try for free.

In response to the faculty and staff survey conducted by the University Wellness Initiative, a 30-minute Zumba class will be held every Wednesday, Sept. 11-Dec. 4, from 12:30-1 p.m. in Flanagan Fitness Studio. There is no registration and participation is first-come, first-served, with a maximum of about 50 people.

The class is a partnership among Healthy Monday, Recreation Services and the University Wellness Initiative, which conducted a survey last spring asking faculty and staff about wellness opportunities they might participate in during the day.

“We wanted to do something that would be relatively easy to do in a half-hour time frame in which people would feel they were getting a good workout,” says Leah Moser, program coordinator for the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion at the Maxwell School, who manages the Healthy Monday Syracuse campaign. “We thought Zumba would be a fun, high-energy class.”

Healthy Monday offers free fitness classes through Recreation Services on Mondays and Friday, but this additional class was designed to appeal to faculty and staff. The shorter class makes it ideal for a quick lunch break, Moser says.

“We hope that the class provides a way for faculty and staff to get up and moving and get some wellness benefits at the same time,” says Angela Petrie, associate director for programs with the Department of Recreation Services. “We want them to take away that they can do 30 minutes of fitness and feel the benefits—and that it provides them with more energy to finish their work day.”

Healthy Monday also has a number of other programs designed to focus on physical fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being, which has been a natural fit with the work of the University Wellness Initiative. The initiative, which can be found at http://wellness.syr.edu, was established in 2012 to create and support a healthier campus community.

“We want to create many opportunities for individuals to be healthy on campus. We want to reach broadly to all different populations on campus, whether students or faculty and staff,” Moser says.

This free opportunity might also be the enticement for people to explore what other activities Recreation Services offers.

“This is a great way to demonstrate the partnership between the University Wellness Initiative and the different departments that are focused on wellness and working together to provide opportunities for faculty and staff, as well as students,” Moser says. “Faculty and staff spend a lot of time out of their life here, so we want them to be healthy while they are here.”

Moser and her colleagues with the other wellness departments are always looking to hear from the campus community about other wellness opportunities that the University could offer. “We want to hear from the campus what they want and what’s going to suit them best,” she says. “We’re always open to new ideas.”