Thursday, August 27, 2009

Participate in Intramurals through TRAC

By Courtney Westlake

Coming to college doesn't mean you have to give up on competitive sports! Between the usual sports like basketball and more unusual activities like kickball, intramurals at UIS offers something for everyone.

"Intramurals is an easy way to play solo or get a team together and meet new people," said Mike Czarny, a UIS student and intramurals staff member. "All skill levels are welcome."

Signing up for an intramural activity or team is simple - stop by the rec sports office across from the front desk at TRAC to pick up a roster card and submit the completed roster card by the deadline on entry day, said Aimee Winebaugh, another IM staff member. Captains or team reps must attend the captain meeting.

"Bring your I-card to all events to check in with the intramural supervisor," said IM staff Alex Diaz.

The first opportunity to play in an intramural event is Sunday, August 30 at 4 p.m. at the Rec Park softball fields for the Welcome Week Kickball Tournament, noted Kari Elliott, IM staff.

"Roster cards are also now available for intramural bocce, softball and sand volleyball," she said.

Other opportunities for intramural play include flag football and powder puff flag football, soccer, pickleball, badminton, basketball and more. Check out the intramurals schedule for this fall here. There are also employment opportunities available for students who want to referee or become involved in other aspects of intramurals on campus.

"Don't just spectate- participate in intramurals for fun, fitness and friends," encouraged IM staff member Raeann Anderson.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Try out TRAC!

By Courtney Westlake

Between new instructional programs, group fitness classes and intramural opportunities, it's going to be an exciting academic year at TRAC!

"We have some really great programs that are coming back from last year, but we also have some new additions," said Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs at TRAC.

Popular classes like 6-Pack Attack and Zumba (a body sculpting and dance class with interval training) are on the schedule this fall, accompanied by new programs such as Circuit WorX.

"Circuit WorX is a 30-minute good workout for your upper body, lower body and cardiovascular, so it's a little bit of everything," Jillson said. "And it's only 30 minutes so it's really easy to fit into your schedule."

"We also have a new class called Jump Training, and that class targets your complete lower body, so if you're interested in blasting those legs and getting them into the shape that you want, that's a really good class to join," she added. "We're also offering Total Body Conditioning, which is a one-hour strength cardio class."

Some instructional programs that are resuming at TRAC include karate and a 5K training class.

"So if you've always been interested in doing a 5K, which is 3.1 miles, you can join the 5K class that meets once a week and you'll get a personalized program to help you either walk, jog, or a combination of both, toward your 5K goal," Jillson said.

P90X, a very popular instructional program, is also going to be resuming this fall, although TRAC has changed the name of the program to GTX, which stands for Group Training Extreme.

"We do take registration for GTX class, and we're offering two sessions of it this fall," Jillson said.

All classes are posted on the UIS Rec Sports Web site.

To get a quick taste of what each of the classes might be like and to gauge your interest in a particular class, this week TRAC is offering "demo classes."

"All of our classes begin on Monday, August 31, but this first week of school, we're offering some demo classes," Jillson said. "A demo class is a shortened version to give you a taste of what to expect and give you a chance to ask questions. We'll have one of our classes going on each day."

To use the facilities or take advantage of group exercise classes at TRAC, you can purchase a membership, multi-use pass and single-use guest pass.

"The single-use pass and multi-use pass get you into the facility, and you have full range to use the facility - you can use the equipment, the track, or take a group exercise class - so those are a great option if you don't want to purchase a full membership," Jillson said.

"With the new school year, we really encourage you to just come on over and try out what TRAC has to offer," she added. "There are new programs and new activities going on all the time."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fast food

By Courtney Westlake

Did you know that French fries are the most eaten vegetable in America?

Obesity is an epidemic, and it has the potential to surpass smoking as the number one cause of preventable death in the country, according to Amanda Jillson, assistant director of fitness and instructional programs at TRAC.

So what can we do about it?

"The best thing to do is be active," Jillson encouraged. "You don't necessarily need a gym membership to be active - although a TRAC membership is always a good thing! - but when it comes down to it, we really just need to be active, whether it's walking, jogging, cycling. Any kind of activity will help with your attitude, help with your weight and help with your overall well-being in general."

One in four Americans eats at a fast food restaurant every day. However, nutritionists suggest eating fast food about once a month.

"I'm not necessarily saying fast food is bad; there are both good and bad things about it," Jillson said. "As we know, it also comes down to choices we make when we go out to eat."

Having a super-sized soda, fries and a Big Mac or cheeseburger is going to take about seven hours of walking to burn that meal off, Jillson said. So she encouraged people to make good choices and try to eat out just a little less.

"Try to go once a week or even once a month. Make it a treat to yourself, because who doesn't love French fries?" she said. "And keep in mind that if you're active, you're feeling better about yourself and you're burning calories, even if you splurge on food sometimes."

Jillson encouraged people to visit or come in to TRAC, where the staff will be happy to answer any questions about staying active and healthy lifestyle choices.

"And remember, chronic disease and illness doesn't take a day off!" Jillson said.