Weekly free fitness classes encourage the BVU community to stay energized



Stephanie Steiner | Photography Co-Editor

Buena Vista University (BVU) now offers several new fitness opportunities on campus this semester, such as high intensity interval training, yoga, and Zumba, to keep students, faculty, and staff energized on a weekly basis.

“Just finding some way to get out of your dorm room or get out of the library definitely makes you more excited about school. It gives you a little break and makes you feel better all around,” junior Kirsten Van Zuiden said.

Van Zuiden teaches high intensity interval training and yoga classes on campus. With fun music and a relaxing atmosphere, Van Zuiden believes that her classes are a great way to keep a healthy lifestyle. Van Zuiden was a volleyball player at BVU for two years, and when she stopped playing, she started getting involved in the fitness classes that Ellen Schiltz, the Director of Recreation Services, previously taught. Van Zuiden now teaches the classes and makes the workout plans herself. She explains what her attendees can expect.

“The high intensity workout is pretty intense, but it’s nice because you can modify it to your skill level and you can push yourself as hard as you want to,” Van Zuiden said.

Van Zuiden’s classes are offered on Mondays and Wednesdays in the Wellness Center located in Siebens Fieldhouse. High intensity interval training starts at 5:15 p.m. and lasts until 5:45 p.m., and yoga follows at 5:50 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. Each class is 30 minutes.

Along with high intensity interval training and yoga classes, there is another fitness opportunity on campus. Bethany Larson, Associate Professor of Theatre, is the instructor of Zumba, an upbeat dance aerobic workout. Her classes are held in Anderson Auditorium on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:10 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Both as an attendee and as an instructor, Larson has her share of experience with Zumba. She has high hopes for the benefits that attendees will receive from being a part of her class.

“My goal is that when you finish the class you will have had your heart rate raised, you will have done a little bit of toning on arms and legs, and you will feel good,” Larson said. “The greatest benefit to the widest number of people is the benefit you derive in your attitude.”

An attendee of these classes, Carolyn McDermott, is a sophomore at BVU who understands the importance of health in her busy life. She speaks about the mindset that college students can sometimes have.

“We generally don’t take care of ourselves, because we normally don’t sleep very often and consume large quantities of very bad food,” McDermott said. “Being active and trying to stay as healthy as possible is really important because we are still developing, mentally and physically.”

While some may feel tentative about attending these classes, McDermott has experienced them. She offers advice to anyone who wants to become more active.

“It’s okay to take baby steps, and find someone to go with you. Also know that results don’t happen overnight. It’s constant effort daily if you want to have something,” McDermott said.

Fitness classes are not mandatory and are offered free of charge throughout the entire semester.

Photos by Stephanie Steiner