Students who need a break during study week will be able to participate in free virtual Fitness4Finals sessions this semester to get some physical activity and give their minds a breather. And in doing so, improve their ability to think.
Backed by science showing how physical activities can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve cognition, the movement started six years ago at UNLV with up to 1,000 students participating each semester.
This semester’s offerings include a large variety of online classes including high-intensity interval training, strength and sculpt, REBELX classes, Yin Yoga, and guided meditation.
According to Sharon Jalene, founder of UNLV’s Fitness4Finals, its success is a reflection of like-minded partners, including Tru Fusion, Phase1 Sports, University Libraries, CSUN, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, as well as several departments in the School of Integrated Health Sciences, where she serves as assistant dean of undergraduate affairs.
“All of our partners recognize the importance of physical activity and social engagement,” she said. “TruFusion's continued support has been a critical component for the success of Fitness4Finals and the Libraries' Study Week Stress Relief promotions,” added Jalene, who will lead guided meditation classes.
New this semester are live-streamed and online classes by Phase1 Sports, an organization based in Las Vegas that combines training, recovery and physical therapy to maximize performance in athletes, both youth and elite.
Former UNLV runningback, Michael Waters is the founder and co-owner of the organization. Waters says staying connected to the UNLV community is important to him. “For me, it’s really a payback for what I feel like UNLV has done for me on a personal level.”
Staying active is especially important during this semester’s finals, he noted, which has the added component of stress from coping with the COVID-19 quarantine.
“Students are going to be studying, stress levels are going to be high," Waters said. "And this is a time where snacking is at an all-time high with the quarantine. So, it’s important to get some blood flow into your body.”
Waters also practices what he preaches. “I call myself a ‘corporate athlete,’ and it means I’m running a business and I’m fully invested in that, but the athlete side is taking care of my body, eating healthy and working out at least four or five days a week,” he says.