Since the launch of FitSquad, UCSB staff and faculty members are squeezing big fitness into tiny breaks and lunch hours.
The new fitness program, which began earlier this month, offers 20-minute strength training workouts in various locations throughout campus. Led by two nationally certified personal trainers – and marked by the bright yellow FitSquad car – the program instructs individuals of all fitness levels how to pump it up with a variety of equipment including resistance bands, dumbbells and medicine balls. Peter Aguilar and Barb Beainy, Wellness Directors for the Exercise and Sports Studies and Recreation Depts., jointly developed FitSquad.
Co-director Beainy said the 10-week program emphasizes exercise education and accessibility.
“We live in a society where there is a huge demand for fitness advice and guidance, but people do not always have the resources to hire a fitness consultant,” Beainy said. “A lot of people do not feel comfortable in a gym setting, or don’t have the time or will power to go to a gym regularly. Essentially, we provide a free service to our faculty and staff, bringing the gym and fitness professionals to them in a safe, informative and fun setting.”
The FitSquad schedule runs Monday through Thursday, with 20-minute classes beginning at 10 a.m., 10:40 a.m., and again at noon on Mondays and Wednesdays, according to the FitSquad Web site. The Monday and Wednesday classes are held at Student Affairs and Administrative Services, the Student Resource Building and Student Health. Tuesday and Thursday, classes are located at Bren Hall, the UCen lawn and Davidson Library.
“We have had a great turnout of eager participants, and have received multiple requests for more classes,” Beainy said.
FitSquad instructor Eric Bono said the UCSB program, modeled after a similar system already in place at UC Irvine, strives to boost the overall wellbeing of the staff.
“Our goal is to improve health through exercise, flexibility and things like that to increase wellbeing,” Bono said. “We’re trying to reduce the amount of sick days and increase productivity.”
Bono said the program has ran successfully for three weeks, with varying numbers of turnout at each location, some reaching as many as 30 people per session.
“I really enjoy it,” Bono said. “It’s fun to meet the faculty and staff.”
For more information on scheduling and locations, visit the FitSquad Web site at www.recreation.ucsb.edu/fitsquad.