By David Ford
Youngstown State University participated in its first National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, dedicated to encouraging women to stay healthy and lead active lifestyles.
The event took place on Wednesday, with activities throughout Kilcawley Center, WATTS Center, Tod Hall and Wick Park. The event was sponsored by the YSU Campus Recreation, Pure Barre, Living Well YSU Employee Wellness Program, as well as campus police and the nursing department.
Carrie Clyde, the wellness coordinator at YSU, stressed the importance of health and well-being for women, especially students on campus.
“Health and well-being are extremely important for everyone,” Clyde said. “By offering these educational and fitness programs throughout the day, we can highlight the importance of adopting a healthy routine.”
Clyde also said it’s vitally important for women to engage in some sort of physical activity every day and to stick with a fitness plan that fits their goals.
“If [women] are not leading active lifestyles, it could be detrimental to their health long term. It’s important to stay focused on the small things every day that lead you on a better path for a healthy lifestyle,” Clyde said.
Clyde said the university events department contacted her about planning fitness activities for women on campus. The activities for the fitness program were selected to give women a variety of options to choose from in terms of fitness activities or health education.
The activities selected for the fitness program included a morning walk and Pure Barre session at the WATTS Center, a lecture about nutrition and diabetes awareness in Tod Hall, yoga at Wick Park, concluding with a self-defense class sponsored by the campus police department.
Ryan McNicholas, the coordinator for fitness and wellness programs, said this is the first time YSU participated in the national fitness day, but they are hopeful this program can continue in the long run.
“Overall, we wanted to see a program that women would enjoy and benefit from,” McNicholas said. “At YSU, we believe it’s extremely [important] to do anything we can to promote and encourage healthy behavior.”
While YSU has offered health and fitness programs for all students in the past, this is the first time the university participated in an all-day event focusing solely on raising awareness for women’s health and well-being.
Julie Whan, a fitness instructor at Pure Barre in Boardman, helped educate women on campus through her fitness centers’ programs.
“Every woman of every size, shape and ability has the opportunity to stay healthy and energized,” Whan said. “You obviously don’t have to participate in strenuous activity or run a marathon every day, but it’s important to adopt daily habits.”
Whan also advised women to watch their physical activity and food intake with moderation and expressed her opinion on what nutritional items are beneficial.
“The most important thing is to stay hydrated and take some sort of multivitamin to get the nutrients you need,” Whan said. “You don’t want to deprive yourself of stuff you like, like ice cream, but obviously avoid eating it every day.”
Whan added that Pure Barre is currently offering “first week free” fitness courses for women in the area. Their studio is located on Boardman-Canfield Road for anyone interested.