The Kardatzke Wellness Center at Anderson University has promoted campus-wide wellness for the past nine years through a variety of classes and programs. The 132,000-square-foot center includes a natatorium, an indoor track around four full-size basketball courts, a separate gymnasium, a dance studio, a sports medicine center, a fitness center with cardio and weight-training equipment, classrooms, and faculty and staff offices.
The fitness classes offer the AU community a place to build personal wellness in a group setting. Classes are offered every semester and are taught by both students and staff. These classes, most of which take place twice a week, give members of the AU community another option for working out if lifting weights or running is not their preference. [Photos: Anderson University students and faculty participate in a Zumba class. Credit: Stefanie Vinsel]
“The fitness classes help maintain the wellness center’s goal that we should not be worrying about looking good, but about being healthy,” said Connie Hippensteel, wellness program director. “The classes also promote a community among the participants.” vHippensteel is responsible for hiring the students and staff who teach the classes. This semester there are three student-run classes including: boot camp combined with slide aerobics, taught by junior Kaitlyn Gingerich; 15-minute abs and Pilates, taught by junior Lyndsay South; and P90x led by senior Tyler Smith. P90x is an intense fitness program that improves physical fitness in 90 days.
All three students are studying exercise science at AU. Along with these students is Zumba instructor Julie Ward, who works on campus as an office manager and project coordinator in Publications. Zumba is a dance fitness program.
Gingerich said she has a passion for fitness, which motivates her to teach the class to the best of her ability. “I am glad to be teaching this class because I want to educate people about fitness, to benefit myself and others,” she said.
The fitness classes can benefit and accommodate participants according to their individual fitness levels. “All the fitness classes can be adjusted to fit the needs of the individual,” said Gingerich. “No matter how in shape or out of shape someone is, the fitness classes work for everyone.”
Many faculty and staff members at AU participate in these classes. Deborah Miller Fox, assistant professor of English, attends Zumba twice a week. “I am not someone who loves to work out, but I enjoy Zumba because it is fun, taught in a positive environment, and builds a sense of camaraderie,” she said. Fox loves seeing the students in a different setting, and because of this she is able to establish deeper relationships with them.
Zumba is the most popular class among the students and staff. Meredith Tarplee, a junior psychology and sociology major, participates in the class and says she enjoys every minute of it. “I do like to work out, and being that I am a dancer, Zumba makes dancing into a workout, and that is perfect for me,” said Tarplee. “It builds community as well. There are seniors and freshman in the class, along with faculty and staff. We are all there for the same reason.”
— Matt Dougherty is a junior from Breese, Ill., majoring in communication arts and marketing. Dougherty is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.