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Ohio State fitness challenge motivates students to hit the gym

Courtesy of OSU

As the motivation behind New Year’s resolutions fades into February, Ohio State’s RPAC is offering new ways to motivate students to work out.
The “Find Your Fit Challenge” is a contest sponsored by the RPAC where students can complete various fitness challenges and classes to be entered into a weekly drawing to win prizes.
To be entered into the raffle drawing to win, students must complete 15 of the 25 squares on the “Find Your Fit Challenge” scorecard. Each square lists a different requirement, such as going to any fitness class before 9:30 a.m., attending any cycling class, doing a cardio dance class, completing a class in the pool and more.
Alycia Israel, coordinator of fitness programs, said the contest was designed to encourage students to experience different types of workouts the university offers.
“A lot of the classes on the card are either new or in the morning or on the weekends that students may not go to consistently, so we want to make sure students recognize that those classes are available and the new ones are brought to people’s attention,” Israel said.
The OSU Recreational Sports website provides descriptions of some of the newest classes offered on the card, such as Indo-Row, a “unique indoor rowing workout where … you will work in teams, with a partner and as one crew to provide a great overall body workout.”
Israel said once students complete the minimum number of squares, they can turn their cards into the RPAC Welcome Center to be entered into the weekly drawing. Current prizes include CamelBak water bottles, but Israel said the RPAC has a variety of prizes that may evolve as the contest continues.
Natalie Thomas, who graduated from OSU last spring with a degree in exercise science, is in her third year working as an RPAC fitness instructor. Having taught a number of classes, she said she believes the RPAC does a great job in encouraging students to leave their exercise comfort zones.
“I teach Indo-Row and it’s been a slowly growing class, but I have a lot of people who come and try it out because of the ‘Find Your Fit Challenge,'” Thomas said. “I think that it can be a very intimidating class and they never probably would’ve wanted to come had they not wanted to fill their cards out.”
Meredith DeLong, a second-year in agribusiness and applied economics, said she attends RPAC fitness classes as often as three or four times a week.
“I really like fitness classes because they’re flexible with your class schedule. They’re not too long, and there’s always stretching involved and a warm-up,” DeLong said. “Every class is what you put into it. If you’re motivated and actually put in the work ethic you can get a good workout out of it.”
Israel said the free programming OSU offers to students is “above and beyond” what other universities across the nation are doing. In addition to the “Find Your Fit Challenge,” Israel said other RPAC events, such as the “Couch to 5K” program, designed for people new to running, and half-marathon training, are developmental opportunities for students.
“I think it has opened students up to different opportunities and different ways to build themselves not only physically but mentally, emotionally and even socially when they meet new people in these classes or through the progressive special events,” Israel said.

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