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CMU senior student and rec center staff are thinking outside the box to keep students healthy

December 7 kicked off finals week for Colorado Mesa University students and they’re doing it all from the comforts of their own home, yet the Hamilton Recreation Center and rec center personal trainers are making sure students don’t get too comfortable on the couch.

CMU senior communication major Matt Entrekin and rec center staff are thinking outside the box when it comes to keeping students healthy during finals and throughout the winter break. Through innovation, the team is offering at-home workouts on social media to get students moving.

“Physical activity helps alleviate stress and anxiety, which is usually at an all-time high the week of finals. Research has proved that physical activity promotes neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells and increases overall brain function leading to enhances in memory, focus and problem-solving skills. All which are so helpful for performing well on finals,” said Colorado Mesa University Manager of Wellness and Fitness Emily Thom.

Thom and her team want to encourage students to stay active during break and point out that it’s easy to stop moving when routines change.

“Physical activity releases endorphins, brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are known for their relaxing effects and can make you feel calmer and more soothed. It takes only 15 minutes of cardiovascular activity to feel these effects,” said Thom.

Entrekin, who is the GroupX leader in the virtual videos and a certified sports performance trainer, said he’s always had a passion for fitness and sports. 

“I’m a lifelong athlete. I grew up playing baseball and running track in high school and I’m captain of the CMU club tennis team. I want to make everyone love athletics and fitness as much as I do, and know that it can be fun and not always serious,” said Entrekin.

This year has been difficult for many with surprises around every corner. 

“We want to provide tools for students that will make it easy for them to stay well and feel connected, even if it’s virtual, regardless of the times,” said Thom.

The rec center wants to be a constant for students, a place they can rely on to keep them healthy, both physically and mentally.

“My main goal with these videos is to not only give them a good and fun workout that they haven’t done before, but to help them get to know what trainers at CMU are like. Not all trainers are hardcore serious. Personal training can be a fun thing. We make jokes but we’ll get you to goal and make it fun and effective” said Entrekin.


Written by Kelsey Coleman