ChargerREC offers wellness services for all students, in-person and virtually

At the Beckerman Recreation Center, ChargerREC staff are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to implementing programs and services that fulfill the wellness needs of students during this trying time.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the recreation center has been able to modify its usual fitness and wellness classes for students. There are various in-person GroupX classes, including Hip-hop, stretch and strengthen, yoga, meditation, and more. Additionally, these classes are offered virtually for students not comfortable attending in person.

However, the department acknowledges that students’ health is much more than access to exercise.

“We believe in the physical, mental, and social wellness of students,” Ryan Hagen, Director of Campus Recreation, told the Charger Bulletin.

Alongside traditional wellness programs like yoga and meditation, specialized programs are also an important component to the ChargerREC staff. Last month, they partnered with two clinicians from the University Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for “Time to Talk Day” which is a nation-wide event to combat mental health-related stigma.

Gabriella Miceli, Assistant Director of Fitness & Wellness, also provides for students in quarantine or isolation. These students are given a goodie bag, which includes a resistance band for low-impact exercises as well as a list of DIY exercises including kickboxing, yoga, strength and cardio. A comprehensive booklet with 7-day breathing techniques, journal prompts and workout plans for these students can also be found on the department of recreation’s myCharger page.

On Thursdays, Miceli also runs “Breathe & Be” events for any isolation students where they can go through various meditative and breathing exercises meant to help destress and exercise the lungs of symptomatic students.

“We always have a lot going on within our wellness and fitness side,” said Miceli.

In addition to programming, the ChargerREC Instagram consistently posts resources and discussions that promote mental health and wellness awareness. In fact, on Sat. Mar. 7, Miceli posted a “Self Care Saturday” discussion in collaboration with a student-led account “@unhmentalhealth.”

With March being National Nutrition Month, Gender Equality Month and Women’s History Month, Miceli plans to have “a month-long wellness virtual retreat.” This will include activities such as journal prompts, meditation, yoga, self-care and coping skills.

“This is targeted for women because it’s women ‘s history month but I mean anyone could really join in the fun… it is not gender-specific,” said Miceli.