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Stay in shape and earn credit


Busy schedule? Having a hard time getting a workout in with classes and other responsibilities?

Don’t worry. There is a way to get fit and earn college credit at the same time. This semester, 2,647 Grand Rapids Community College students are earning college credit while “feeling the burn” in classes ranging from aerobics and yoga to weight training and water aerobics.

“Our classes are geared toward anyone. All are welcome and will experience lifelong learning, feel better, and gain knowledge from taking their wellness credit,” said Jodi Kuyt, Wellness Instructor and Department Head at GRCC.

Kuyt explained the courses are fun and give a great workout no matter the student’s fitness level. Other benefits of taking wellness classes include more energy, weight loss, strength gain, increased flexibility, better quality of sleep, improved test scores and increased self-confidence.

“Students are encouraged to work at their own pace, take breaks as needed, and to feel comfortable in our classes,” said Kuyt. “Some students see small changes in our classes, while others’ lives are changed forever, reaching huge goals.”

Wellness classes are popular with students of GRCC.

“I really like the Body Tone and Sculpt class because it helped me to get motivated and energized for the day,” said Bailey Weidenhamer, 20, of Sparta, about the WE134 course that teaches students how to improve muscle tone and endurance. “I learned a lot of fitness routines that I could do at home, which was helpful because I don’t always have time to make it to the gym.”

Students looking for a low-impact exercise experience enjoy WE 127 Yoga, Tone and Stretch.  In this course, students study Yoga and learn postures and breathing techniques. By the end of the class, students can expect to improve body awareness, strength, flexibility, balance and much more about their overall physical and mental states.

Water Aerobics, WE 129, is another class designed to help strengthen weakened muscles, relax strained muscles and improve muscle function overall. WE 129 focuses on the benefits of water exercise through a variety of creative techniques. Two students met in class and had some positive comments about their experience.

“Definitely a workout but a fun workout,” said Tricia Langstraat, 20, of Jenison, describing her water aerobics experience. “It is not just laps around the gym. It’s a very outgoing and fast paced course.”

Susan Lockwood, 19, of Grand Rapids, agreed. “It is a fun way to tap into a new source for exercise. This course helped me improve my all around fitness in endurance and strength. It is a very welcoming course where you are comfortable around everyone.”

Kuyt encourages students to burn calories at GRCC. “Our classes are fun. Come experience the best of both worlds, earn college credit and get fit, it just might change your life!”

For more information on these courses, look up Wellness in the GRCC Course Catalog under WE or use the Class Finder online.

Students who don’t have time to take a wellness course can work out for free at the Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse at GRCC, a campus facility that is open to all students and faculty. The Ford Fieldhouse is located across the street from the GRCC Student Center at 111 Lyon St. NE and is open Monday – Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Students can enjoy the following Ford Fieldhouse facilities when they bring their student IDs: cardio room, pool, indoor track, basketball court with six hoops and four volleyball courts, and a free weight and mechanical weight room.

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