Students are seeking more from their workout experiences than just a big room with weights. More often than not, they’re seeking community as well as the tools for greater wellbeing. To meet this need, more campus recreation departments are adding Group X programming to their offerings.
This story is the last in a three-part series exploring three aspects of offering Group X programming: planning and implementation basics, challenges to overcome, and why Group X is worth offering to students.
This week, we’re talking about the benefits of Group X programming for your students and why you should add it to your offerings.
“Group X has unlimited benefits for students,” said Chrissy Strow, the fitness coordinator at the University of South Carolina. “You can do a workout every single day but do something different each time, and as long as you have a diverse enough program, there is something in Group X for everyone.”
Group X classes can include yoga, Pilates, HIIT, cycling and many other exercise types, so it’s important to offer enough program diversity to meet a variety of student needs.
“Students attend Group X classes for a number of reasons: to gain muscle, lose weight, make friends, learn to do something new and reduce stress,” said Sheila Calhoun, the fitness and wellness program manager at the University of Michigan.
In addition to the physical benefits of Group X, students will also use group fitness as a way to connect with their peers and find a social niche on campus. “Group X is a great place for undergraduates to come in and feel welcomed,” said Strow. “That’s something college students really need — not only the physical aspect of exercise, but that sense of belonging.”
A primary goal for campus recreation is helping students find community through a healthy lifestyle — these benefits can extend well beyond physical improvement.
“We all know the numerous studies that support exercise and positive mental health,” said Calhoun. “We have written accounts of students who, for example, took yoga for the first time and are now hooked for life.”
Group X gives students the opportunity to improve their health and well-being through physical fitness, and develop better mental and emotional health through the community they build.
“No matter what their goals or level of fitness experience are, Group X fitness is an inclusive place where students can find something they love with the health benefits they’re looking for,” said Strow.