Promoting wellness remotely: Campus Recreation engages community via social media

Published by , Date: April 11, 2020

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 11 at 8:40 p.m. to correct the spelling of Karly Balon’s name. 

While the Aebersold Recreation Center has been closed since March 12 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Campus Recreation has continued its wellness initiative on its social media platforms.

Karen Perry, director of campus recreation, said that Campus Recreation promotes all aspects of wellness, not solely physical wellness.

“Campus Rec is wellness, so we hit all aspects of wellness everyday in what we do in Campus Rec,” Perry said. “So whether it’s social, physical, or mental, it all comes through.”

Last week, as SRU’s classes resumed online, Campus Recreation began to push a stronger social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Posts include contests, at-home workouts and videos.

“We tried to hit more from the social media standpoint because that’s what a lot of people are relating to right now,” Perry said.

As a continuation of the Rock 30 campaign, “Walk 30” will take place April 8 through May 8 to encourage social media followers to take a 30-minute walk or do 30 minutes of exercise at home each day.

Karly Balon, a senior exercise science major, worked at the ARC since her freshman year. In her final semester at SRU, she was hired as one of three interns in the fitness center under the leadership of Ryan Stack, assistant director of wellness.

After face-to-face classes at SRU were suspended, Stack spoke with Balon and the other interns about continuing to promote wellness and campus recreation remotely. At this meeting, Balon offered to do live workouts.

“We wanted to keep everyone active, keep everyone moving, so we sort of discussed what we could bring as students and as interns,” Balon said.

Campus Recreation is partnering with the Virtual Involvement Team to continue engagement with the SRU community remotely. Balon specifically hosts an Instagram Live session each Wednesday at 4 p.m. for #WellnessWednesday, one of the weekly themes for virtual involvement initiative.

During the first trial run on April 1, Balon’s live workout earned 56 engagements on Instagram. Now, the other two fitness center interns, Rose Henzel and Andrew Green, will host workouts on Instagram Live at 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, respectively.

If someone cannot follow along to a live workout, workouts are posted regularly on Campus Recreation’s Twitter page.

“Social media wise, we’re using Instagram and Twitter to promote almost like a wellness challenge,” Balon said. “So whether it’s meditation, whether it’s writing down positive things about yourself or whether it’s a workout challenge, we just want to keep campus and the community healthy in all aspects of health, all aspects of wellness.”

Balon hopes that community members working out alongside her during the live workouts get good energy, some laughs and the motivation to complete a workout.

“Even if they are in their own home or outside, really I just want people to stay active in this time,” Balon said. “I know it’s a big stress reliever for me. If I can do my part by helping others through, if that’s the way I can help others, then I’ll do it.”

Concerning other aspects of wellness, Perry reminds the SRU community that taking care of yourself is essential during the pandemic. Perry, who lives close to SRU and has been walking on campus as part of her routine, recommends creating a flexible routine that includes some aspect of wellness.

“If you’re not taking care of yourself through either sleeping, taking time for some sleep or from activity or that routine of what you have to do then prioritizing the things that are really important each day, then I think it’s going to be too overwhelming,” Perry said.

The Rocket is committed to bringing you the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak. We have a section on our website with complete coverage HERE.

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Hannah is a senior secondary English education major and communication minor entering her third year on The Rocket staff and her second year as editor-in-chief. Previously, she served as assistant news editor and covered Student Government Association affairs. After graduation, she hopes to teach English, communications and journalism to high school students. Hannah has won numerous awards for her writing and design work with The Rocket and was named SRU's Student Leader of the Year in 2020. Outside of The Rocket, Hannah is also part of WSRU-TV, Sigma Tau Delta and the Honors College.


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