A new partnership between UGA Cooperative Extension and UGA Recreational Sports Fitness and Wellness returns again this semester with free classes exclusively for faculty and staff with the mission of teaching fitness and wellness.
UGA Extension’s program, Walk Georgia, sponsors the classes to encourage campus employees to move more outside of their office or classroom. Four weekly classes are offered to all Ramsey Student Center members who are faculty and staff. Class options include bootcamp, circuits and yoga.
“I recently had to give up racquetball for injury-related reasons,” said Stuart Ivy, an IT manager in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “I thought with a bootcamp style class I would get pretty much the same amount of exercise as my racquetball. And I was correct.”
The free classes, which first were offered in mid-August, were taught before and after regular working hours this fall. This semester, classes are offered at noon and after regular working hours.
“The class was at a very convenient time for me … and the mix of people was very good from old to young and male and female,” Ivy said.
Class participants are encouraged to attend at least once a week, then log their progress on the Walk Georgia website, which tracks physical activity and provides resources for Georgians looking to prioritize their fitness.
“We have loved partnering with Ramsey to provide an opportunity for faculty and staff to help make their personal health and fitness a priority,” said Maria Bowie, program coordinator for Walk Georgia. “It speaks volumes to have professional staff commit to a routine and encourage their peers to do the same.”
In the fall, Walk Georgia also offered monthly outdoor fitness sessions throughout campus and several lunch-and-learn style classes at noon so that employees could participate during their lunch break and meet like-minded colleagues.
Since January 2012, UGA has made a commitment to address the growing epidemic of obesity through the UGA Obesity Initiative. The initiative encourages programs like Walk Georgia to connect specifically with the UGA community in order to address these concerns within the university.