Photo Credits: QUINN SPOONER / AGGIE. The Activities and Recreation Center on the UC Davis campus offers free entry on certain days.
Program allows students to try classes before purchasing a group exercise pass
The Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) has offered Free Fitness Days as a rebranding of Try Before You Buy for a few years now. Unlike its predecessor which was offered for the first week of the quarter, Free Fitness Days is offered for the first two weeks of each quarter. Free Fitness Days are offered by Living Well, a unit within UC Davis Campus Recreation.
“Our focus is the whole being,” said Kayleigh Rohrbach, Living Well program lead and coordinator, in an email. “We offer a variety of wellness programs including fitness classes, personal training, nutrition services and more. Our hope is that students will try a bit of everything and find a form of fitness that both works with their schedule as well as enjoy before committing for the rest of the quarter.”
Other units within Campus Recreation are Aquatics, the UC Davis Marching Band, the Craft Center, the Equestrian Center, Sport Clubs and Rec Sports. The motto for all programs within Campus Recreation is “Come As You Are.”
“Students of all background levels and experience are welcome in any of our Campus Recreation programs,” Rohrbach said via email. “It is a place where you can find your sense of belonging on campus.”
Rohrbach works with the Living Well staff to provide wellness programs to students. Living Well also teaches an annual American Council on Exercise (ACE) class to prepare student employees to test for new certifications which will be offered in Spring 2020. She also works with other on-campus departments to “promote wellness among our student population.”
In her role as Living Well attendant, second-year clinical nutrition major Samantha Seefeldt works at the front desk of the Living Well center. She and other attendants have shifts to check in patrons to group exercise classes.
“Our goal is to [be] welcoming and informative,” Seefeldt said in an email. “Some roles of my position are being knowledgeable of the different programs we offer, helping patrons with any questions, scheduling of the different programs, [facilitating] contact between patrons and the personal trainers/ different instructors.”
Second-year cognitive science major Isabella Munar attended her first Free Fitness cycling class with her roommates.
“The class was really tiring, but I really liked it,” Munar said. “I think I’ll register for this quarter and maybe Spring Quarter too.”
According to Rohrbach, attendance during Free Fitness Days varies between 10 to 40 participants. Not every attendee registers, but “most students” continue throughout the quarter. Rohrbach added that most of the certified instructors are students who are trained and tested for nationally accredited certifications.
“Our schedules are built around our student instructor’s availability and the demand for class formats such as Party Cycle, Zumba, Yoga, Bombay-Jam and more,” Rohrbach said. “Student instructors submit their availability every quarter and the schedule is built from there. As far as classes go, we try to offer as much variety as possible. In addition, we try to offer classes at all times of the day and on weekends so that every student can find a class that fits within their schedule.”
The Free Fitness Days program was set up to “encourage UC Davis students to find what type of fitness works best for them.”
“Our overall goal is to promote wellness among our student population,” Rohrbach said. “College can be one of the most stressful times in life. Our hope at Living Well is to provide students with resources for stress and anxiety while encouraging them to take a break from their hard academic work.”
Written by: Anjini Venugopal — email@example.com