Staying Fit

USF’s Fitness Week offers fun events and the motivation to make exercise a part of the daily routine.


Students took advantage of canoe trips during last year's Fitness Week.


By Brandi Hollis

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2013) - Almost two months have passed since we all rang in 2013 and made our New Year’s resolutions and if you are like many of us, that resolution to exercise more is starting to fade in the hectic bustle of upcoming midterms and papers that need to be finished.


If you need an extra boost to keep that fitness resolution you made, the Campus Recreation Center is kicking off its annual National Recreational Sports and Fitness Week Feb. 18 – 23. Along with events like moonlight canoeing at River Front Park and an indoor “Tribull Challenge” triathlon, staff will be on hand to answer fitness questions, give tours of the facilities, and show you how you can get motivated to exercise.


Click here for a list of events.


“We really just want to highlight that it’s not difficult to exercise and there’s lots of opportunities on campus inside, outside, and even in your office to be active,” said Aaron Craig, assistant director of fitness at Campus Recreation.


Campus Recreation will also be able to show the USF community the new ways in which they can interact with Campus Recreation to improve their workout experience. USF Campus Recreation has partnered with Technogym to bring Mywellness Cloud to the facility. Users can workout on any of the 45 Technogym cardio machines at Campus Recreation and have their workouts logged into a cloud service that they can access at the gym, on their smartphones, or on their computers.


“The literature demonstrates that when people track any kind of behavior change, if you track nutrition or if you track for exercise, you’re more likely to adhere and develop that lifestyle change or behavior change,” said Craig. “So this is a neat way for people to track their activity.”


Jay Downing, fitness coordinator at Campus Recreation, said that the system is currently only available for apple devices but the service will be ready for android phones in March. The new service will be free to use and Craig and Downing already have ideas on how to get students connected and interacting through the new technology.


One feature they will use as a way to connect with other USF Campus Recreation members is to set up weekly and/or monthly challenges that everyone can participate in. Another feature will allow personal trainers to connect with their clients, even on days they don’t meet.


“There’s a lot more to come with that and we’re just on the front end. So we’re really excited about it and want to get people on board and signed up and keep track of their moves,” said Craig.


National Recreational Sports and Fitness Week will also incorporate fitness activities including an intramural dodge ball tournament, moonlight canoeing, a ropes course adventure day, and the week’s big finale, the “Tribull Challenge.” The Tribull Challenge is an indoor triathlon which will consist of a 400 yard swim, an 11 mile bike ride, and a treadmill run of 3 miles. Registration is open until Wednesday and the event will be held Friday at 2 p.m. All fitness levels are encouraged to come out and get involved.


Craig said the week is part of the Exercise is Medicine on campus initiative and that there will be several lectures throughout the week on the impact of exercise. Exercise is Medicine is an initiative started by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA). Craig said research shows that exercise can improve sleep and relieve stress among other benefits.


 “There’s a lot of literature and research that demonstrates that the benefits of exercise are equal to and sometimes even more than or greater than actual medicine,” said Craig.


During Fitness Week, all USF staff and students are welcome to use the facilities and discover how they can get more active. USF faculty and staff with a valid USF ID can use the recreation center for free all week. Craig said.


“It allows us to hit more of the USF community and focus on not just students, but the entire university community,” she said.