Elon’s Campus Recreation and Wellness and Counseling Services collaborate to offer the Be Well Program, promoting positive physical and emotional well-being.
Editor’s Note: This story is a part of the HealthEU series, exploring Elon programs, events and resources that promote integrated wellness of one or more dimensions. View the HealthEU website to learn more.
As Elon continues to strive to become a model for integrated and holistic wellness, the Be Well program at the university is one of many programs that embody an integrated wellness program.
Be Well is a group training program for students that promotes positive physical activity experiences and mental health well-being. “The goal is for students to learn how exercise and mental health work together and how both can be improved,” said Burley Johnson, coordinator of Campus Recreation and Wellness for fitness and aquatics.
The program consists of five 90-minute sessions during the Winter term. During each session, students meet with a personal trainer and counselor to explain the benefit of them working together for a healthier life. The BeWell program fosters a supportive and community-oriented environment. “The program emphasizes interconnectedness to increase exercise adherence and overall well-being,” said Itumeleng Shadreck, counselor and outreach coordinator with Counseling Services.
A collaboration between Campus Recreation and Wellness, and Counseling Services, Be Well was initially started in 2019. Be Well was created and inspired by a similar program at Christopher Newport University. However, the program’s structure was recently revisited during the rollout of the HealthEU initiative. “We met to review the past program and opted to make a few adjustments. For example, this year, counselors participated in the workouts and there was consideration for different types of workouts and equipment that can be intimidating,” Shadreck said.
During sessions, students can also explore different areas of fitness and various themes of emotional wellness. This includes yoga, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), equipment, resistance to other spaces, self-talk and body neutrality. Regarding emotional well-being, students interact with counselors throughout their workouts to be provided with in-the-moment support, including facilitating conversations, practicing cognitive skills and journaling for self-reflection.
“The hope for students is to have a space to explore resistance and challenges in fitness spaces, identify thoughts that may show up and affect participation or mood, and provide safe exposure to new thought processes and skills,” Shadreck said.
To students, the Be Well program is described as a valuable and practical experience facilitating conversations regarding the intersectionality of physical and emotional well-being.
“We were able to not only learn about and practice different forms of exercise, including intensity interval training, bodyweight exercise, dumbbell/barbell exercise, TRX, and yoga, but deeply explore the mind-body connection,” said Hunter Siegel ’25. “I feel like I have gained a lot in how I view exercise and my body as well as learning more about the physical side of what exercise does for our bodies,” said Siegel.
To learn more about the Be Well program, students can reach out to Burley Johnson at email@example.com or Itumeleng Shadreck at firstname.lastname@example.org. This program will be offered again in fall semester 2023. Interested students are also encouraged to complete the program application on Phoenix Connect. Applications will be reviewed and the student will be contacted to schedule a pre-group appointment with a counselor.