Staying in shape at work
Whether you want to start a new exercise routine in 2012 or continue a healthy habit, Elon offers opportunities to help achieve your goals.
For the past eight years, Scott Buechler has been going to the gym in the Koury Center almost religiously every week.
“It has become a regular part of my routine when my schedule allows it,” says Buechler, who besides serving as interim dean of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business also chairs the department of management and teaches business communications.
And while his workout has changed throughout the years, his desire to remain active has not waned.
“I come from an active family. My folks were skiing and playing tennis until the age of 85,” he says. “There is something in my DNA that wants to be active. If I go three days without a workout, I get jittery.”
That’s why he is thankful that as an Elon employee he can use the fitness facilities on campus free of charge whenever he wants. These include a six-lane swimming pool, five racquetball courts, two exercise studios, a basketball gym and an 11,000-square-foot fitness center featuring 14 treadmills, 10 elliptical machines, 8 ArcTrainers, 14 exercise bikes, 13 selectorized weight machines, more than 20 free-weight stations and more than five tons of free-weights and dumbbells.
“This is the only place I’ve worked that has a full fitness center for faculty and staff,” he says. “It’s an extra benefit when you think about it.”
A benefit, he adds, that is not to be underestimated. For him, exercise is more than a tool to control his weight; it is a way to increase his energy and efficiency while burning off nervous energy.
Peter Tulchinsky, director of campus recreation, which oversees the facilities, agrees. He says exercise not only helps control weight and combat health conditions but also improves mood, boosts energy level and relieves stress.
“We offer personal training services and there is a special package that is sponsored by the Faculty & Staff Wellness Center that reimburses faculty and staff for half the cost of a six-session personal training package,” he says.
Besides having free use of the facilities, faculty and staff can also take advantage of group exercise classes such as Pilates, yoga, cycle, kickboxing, Zumba, step and AquaTone. In addition, there are certain classes open only to faculty and staff.
Bethany Massman, who heads the Pilates class for faculty and staff twice a week during lunchtime, says employees who take her class not only appreciate the physical benefits of the class but also that it’s free of charge.
“They really appreciate that Elon values that they get these services,” she adds.
Kristi Rehrauer, science lab manager in McMichael Science Center, has taken advantage of some of these services to lose weight and stay fit. Since she joined the Elon staff in 2006, she has attended Weight Watches classes, which helped her lose 120 pounds and reach a healthy weight, participated in several exercise classes and become a regular at the gym.
“Over the course of my five years at Elon, I have completely transformed my lifestyle and a big part of that has to do with the opportunities offered by Campus Recreation and the Wellness Center,” Rehrauer says. “I start out my day every morning at 6 a.m. in the gym. It is not only a great opportunity for me to stay fit and keep my weight off, but it also makes me start my work day on a positive note.”
This year Rehrauer plans to take advantage of the personal training package sponsored by the Wellness Center. As part of the package, faculty and staff work with a student personal trainer to learn functional exercises that they can personalize to their goals and commitment level.
Before starting a workout regimen, Tulchinsky recommends people check with their doctors to make sure they’re in good enough health to begin exercising. He also suggests people assess their current fitness level to better design a fitness routine. This can be done by taking your pulse before and after walking a mile; doing as many push-ups as possible; sitting and reach as far forward as you can; and timing how long it takes to walk a mile.
For those who don’t feel comfortable going to the gym or working with a trainer, Elon offers three walking/running paths throughout the campus, allowing employees to step out of their offices and do a quick 10-minute walk as part of their workday. The Wellness Center also supports faculty and staff groups that may want to start a weight program in their office.
For more information about classes and other opportunities to develop a healthy living style, visit the Campus Recreation website or the Faculty & Staff Wellness Center website. You can also contact the Wellness staff at ext. 5569.
What faculty & staff say about facstaff classes
I enjoyed the step-it-up program in fall of 2010. I joined Weight Watchers (the on-campus program) in June of 2010, and the step-it-up program really helped me stay on goal with my daily walking, plus it was great receiving prizes for meeting the challenge each week. I feel like the step-it-up program was a vital part in me meeting my weight loss goal, and I continue to wear my pedometer each day because it helps me stay on track!
—Phyllis Phillips, administrative assistant in the School of Communications
It is an amazing opportunity to have yoga and Pilates classes available to me during my work day. It provides a way to have work/life balance and use my time to be good to myself and follow a healthy lifestyle. I’m so grateful!
—Jennifer Smith, Serials/Document Assistant at Belk Library
“Lifting with Liz” has been a very positive activity for me. I first started going to Liz’s weights classes in 2007 and have continued, even into retirement. I enjoy these sessions for several reasons: 1) I don’t need special equipment or clothing; 2) Liz is always energetic and cheerful as she leads our exercise and pushes us to try heavier weights; 3) I believe the exercises have helped my balance and my overall physical well-being; and 4) these classes always lift my spirits. I am appreciative of Liz’s dedication to this service.
—Jane Romer, Adjunct Associate Professor Emerita of Foreign Language