Get fit, win prizes in 3 for 30 Challenge

climbing wall

UIC Campus Recreation is making it easier for students to live a healthy and active lifestyle with the introduction of the 3 for 30 Wellness Challenge.

The 3 for 30 Wellness Challenge is based off the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendation that most adults should be active for at least 30 minutes per day. The group defines an active lifestyle as at least 30 minutes of exercise three days a week for three months.

UIC Campus Recreation is partnering with Kilter Rewards to help encourage students to meet these requirements. Students can register online for the challenge, which runs Feb. 4 through April 28.

Challenge participants are rewarded for checking into UIC Campus Recreation facilities and engaging in 30 minutes of movement.

For example, once students hit the three times weekly goal for at least four weeks, they receive 30 percent off any services offered by UIC Campus Recreation and a T-shirt. At 8 and 12 weeks, participants are entered into a drawing for additional prizes.

Campus Recreation offers a variety of services and classes, such as drop-in fitness classes. Classes range from dance fitness to cycling. UIC Campus Recreation also offers kick boxing, yoga, personal training, and much more.

Nuha Abdelrahim, a senior at UIC who is a group fitness instructor, said group fitness classes are a great way to get involved in the gym.

“If it’s your first time working out, it’s a good way to come in and not have to think about your work out, and just find something you enjoy. It’s really hard to go to the third floor and see all these weights and people, and try to figure out what to do,” Abdelrahim said.

Group fitness classes are a great way to solve time-management issues, she said.

“People feel like they don’t have time, but there are some classes that are only 30 minutes,” she said. “You can get a really good workout. You don’t have to think about it, and then by the end of the 16 weeks it’s like ‘Woah! I look great!’”

Lynne Thompson, associate director of programs and services for UIC Campus Recreation, understands why it can be difficult for people to become active.

“If you ask anybody if exercise is good for you, they’re going to say yes. But if they don’t know what to do or don’t have social support, there are lots of things that can be intimidating,” Thompson said.

In recognition of this, Thompson is encouraging people to focus on movement, which she said is a more gentle approach.

“The definition of exercise is planned movement, basically. So, if you just take the planned part out of it, it’s less intimidating to people. Playing soccer, for example, is exercise, but it’s not in that structured environment,” Thompson said.

By drawing attention to movement, Thompson believes she can broaden the prospective of exercise by highlighting other ways of being fit, such as playing sports, dancing or rock climbing.

Thompson and her team are dedicated to creating a welcoming space for everyone, and helping everyone become healthier and more active.

“I think it’s important to know that the Rec (Student Recreation Facility) is a very friendly place,” Abdelrahim said. “People want to help you. They want to get involved. If you try something and it’s not for you, try something else. Try basketball, or swimming, or rock climbing. Just keep trying.”

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