URI Campus Recreation tackling wellness from all angles

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |
spinning class
This spinning class is one of the many group exercise classes offered by Campus Recreation. Photo by Anna Viola.

KINGSTON, R.I.- March 25, 2019- If thirty minutes of cardio a day doesn’t ease your mind, maybe Writing for Wellness, paddleboard yoga or macrame will help you find a respite from the daily grind.

In addition to providing top-of-the-line exercise equipment at the Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center and the Mackal-Tootell complex, Campus Recreation has put together an inclusive, unconventional calendar of events to get students thinking of wellness as more than just a daily workout.

Among one of its most popular events is paddleboard yoga, a student-driven program that brings participants to the shallow pool at the Tootell Aquatic Center. What was originally a one-time event is offered once a week, and there is a waiting list.

Instructor Christine Burke
Instructor Christine Burke leading a paddleboard yoga class. Photo by Anna Viola.

After taking an interest in stand-up paddle boarding, Campus Recreation instructor Christine Burke, a senior nutrition and dietetics major with a minor in kinesiology, decided to join the wellness team and advocate for a paddleboard or paddleboard yoga class.

“Logan Giroux, the yoga instructor, and I held the first paddleboard yoga class in the Tootell Aquatic Center during finals week last fall,” explained Burke. “With great success and high demand, our paddleboard yoga class ran every Friday this semester until Spring Break. URI Campus Rec members got the opportunity to play around on the boards and try some yoga poses.”

While the paddleboards have been returned to the URI Sailing Center, students can look for this program’s return next fall. In the meantime, paddleboards are available for use for free at the Sailing Center, 206 Salt Pond Rd, Wakefield.

paddleboard yoga
Students get in the pool to try different yoga poses during paddleboard yoga. Photo by Adam Franklin.

If a less physical attempt at wellness is what you are looking for, attend a ‘Knotty Intentions’ session during which you can learn the art of macrame, knotting cord or string into patterns to make decorative articles. The first Knotty Intentions event of the semester is on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 p.m., with a second event in April.

Another popular event is Writing for Wellness, a student-driven program held Monday evenings at 4:30 p.m. that involves different approaches to thought sharing and focuses on a different theme each week.

Additionally, Campus Recreation is giving new meaning to Thirsty Thursday by offering free fresh fruit smoothies twice a month from 4:30 until 6 p.m.

These events are held in the Wellness Resource Center located on the lower level of the Anna Fascitelli Center. The center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and has a self-guided meditation station, a massage chair, soothing music and jigsaw puzzles. Students and platinum members can also enjoy board games, coloring, zen board painting, zen gardening, and rock painting while breathing in essential oils and enjoying hot tea.

Each semester during exams, Campus Rec sponsors a day of wellness that urges students to engage in hands-on activities to give their minds a break. Other offerings include free massages, reiki and reflexology.

In partnership with the Division of Student Affairs, which oversees Campus Recreation, these efforts are in line with a new five-year strategic plan that has health and well being as a top priority. Additionally, last year President David M. Dooley set three major transformational goals, one including the health and well being of students and the URI community. With the full support of the University, Campus Rec is able to get creative and reach out to meet students where they are.

“Sometimes, 30 minutes on a treadmill isn’t a cure-all,” said Denise Robbin, a specialist in Campus Recreation and Fitness and Wellness. “The Wellness Resource Center was built for students and is student-driven since they’re more likely to spend time in a fully accessible, easy and inclusive environment that was made for them.”

Campus Recreation also offers an extensive list of group exercise classes that are free for URI students and platinum members.

Check the Campus Recreation website for updates and additions to the calendar.

Olivia Ross, an intern in the Marketing and Communications Department at URI and public relations major, wrote this press release.