California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

There are many ways to exercise our physical and mental wellbeing on campus

Val Vidal
Yoga Instructor Lisa Wildermuth leads the yoga class which is open to students, faculty, staff and those with a yearly Forrest Fitness Center membership.

The Forrest Fitness Center at California Lutheran University has state of the art equipment and is a great place to exercise. 

Getting enough exercise has multiple benefits for our bodies and minds, including weight control, managing health issues and relieving stress. 

College students in particular deal with issues like stress from testing including homework and courses. Students should engage in different types of fitness programs such as mind, body and flexibility exercises, which are just as important as hitting a treadmill. We can all improve our mental as well as physical health by trying new workout routines.  

In addition to the Forrest Fitness Center being an excellent gym, the spacious facilities within the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center provide many ways to work out and improve wellness. If you are new to working out at a gym, other offerings in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center might be worth exploring.

One of these options includes the weekly yoga classes provided by Yoga Instructor Lisa Wildermuth. Her classes are held in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center Dance Studio.  

“Yoga helps to increase your strength, your flexibility, and your balance, which are all really important. And mentally, yoga can, with regular practice, help direct the mind into the body and the breath, so it’s like a form of meditation,” Wildermuth said.  

If you are intimidated by trying one of these yoga classes, don’t worry. Wildermuth said her yoga class accommodates all levels of students from beginner to advanced, and she encourages people to come and give it a try. 

Wildermuth offers yoga classes like vinyasa, which incorporates body and mind workouts. She also teaches a hatha yoga class with a goal of improving mobility and range of motion.  

“People come for a variety of different reasons and there’s no one right reason,” Wildermuth said. “People come because they want to establish more of a workout or work on their flexibility, feel better in their bodies. Other people come because they do want to destress and feel calmer, less anxious. Some people come as a way of establishing social connections too.”

In addition to yoga, the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center has a place to work on exercises for the core, stretching and even mental wellness. 

According to Head Coach of Cross Country and Track & Field, Brett Halvaks, a new addition to the Forrest Fitness Center last year includes kettlebells, slam balls and medicine balls for many different types of exercises.

I personally used some of this equipment in a course taught by Coach Halvaks called Physical Fitness, Health and Wellness. The medicine ball was good for improving strength in my core muscles.

“Being physically active can really help you in all areas of your life, especially I think for mental wellness. A lot of times it’s just taking that break every day or every couple days,” Halvaks said. “Get out to do something for 30 to 45 minutes to get away from the stress of staring at the computer screen.”

Halvaks said the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center has space where students can use mats to do some meditation or stretching and students should utilize this, especially if the Forrest Fitness Center is busy. 

Another option for those who want something different than a gym workout is the Samuelson Aquatics Center.  

I have found swimming to be a fun and healthy activity that keeps me in shape and helps relieve stress. Students and staff have a great opportunity to use the pool as an alternative to a typical gym workout.  

According to the Conejo Recreation and Park District website, the Community Pool at Cal Lutheran even hosts swim courses for the public, including water aerobics, noodle aerobics and a water walkers workout.  

In an article published in Health magazine, Author Sherri Gordon discusses the many benefits of swimming, including burning calories, improved heart health, sleep and mental health.

“Swimming is not only an easily-accessible form of exercise, but it also can be performed by people of all ages, weights, and fitness levels. It also can play a key role in reducing your risk of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure,” Gordon said. 

There are two pools connected to the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center, one is the Community Pool which is available to students and staff. The other pool is mainly used for Cal Lutheran’s water sports and students. 

Whether students prefer the traditional gym equipment at the Forrest Fitness Center, or are needing a place to do yoga or swimming, students can take advantage of these options at the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center. 

The facilities are free to current students, faculty and staff, and schedules for the yoga courses, pool and fitness center are available on the Cal Lutheran website

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