A free fitness app just might be what your campus needs. Miami University recently partnered with Caravan Wellness and shares its process in coming to that decision.
Free. That’s how much it costs for students to use the Caravan Wellness fitness app at Miami University.
Miami Recreation is covering the cost of the app, allowing the department to offer hundreds of video fitness classes. Plus, there is an exclusive Miami program on the app designed to reduce stress and improve both mental and physical health through yoga, meditation, stretching and fitness.
Doug Curry, the executive director of Recreation Services at Miami University, shared about the new offering and how they chose this direction:
Evaluating Fitness App Needs
During COVID, Curry said students and other departments were contacting Recreation Services for ideas on activities for students. As such, they looked at a variety of options for virtual fitness, including producing their own videos.
Factors Considered in Evaluation:
- Instructors’ options
- University leadership thoughts
- Quality of videos
- Willingness of app to work with Miami University requirements
- Fitness, wellness and mental health aspects
Going through all of the above, Curry said Caravan Wellness was the perfect fit.
EXTRA CREDIT: Katie White of Towson compares three fitness apps in this blog.
What to Look for in a Fitness App Company
Three things that drew Curry and his team to Caravan Wellness could very well apply to any search for a fitness app:
- Flexibility and adaptability. “They were flexible in their contract and willing to make changes regarding the legal issues, and of course reasonable pricing,” said Curry.
- Trial period. Miami University got a two-week trial in which all recreation staff and instructors took part to evaluate it.
- The company wants to work with you. Because of that factor, Curry said they were able to negotiate a short-term contract able to be easily renewed once they determine student participation.
EXTRA CREDIT: There’s a lot to keep in mind when partnering with a vendor. Here are some more tips.
Benefits of a Free Fitness App
“The benefits are many,” said Curry. He named a few:
- It is not only available to all students for free, but faculty and staff as well.
- A large variety of programs and lengths makes it easy to do some sort of activity every day.
- Campuses have fewer activities right now for students. This app fills that need.
“I look at this as our job to be creative and work for the students to provide them the best experience possible under very challenging circumstances,” he said.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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