Fitness instructors personify university's commitment to health

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is dedicated to keeping its students, faculty and staff healthy. That makes Ashley Bechard (right) and Cassandra Bonick (lower right), who are group fitness intructors, two valuable Pointers for the university’s mission.

The Allen Center offers free group fitness sessions through Bechard and Bonick to all students, faculty and staff this summer, empowering fitness goals and preserving long-term health at no cost. Simply bring a UW-Stevens Point ID if you attend.

Bechard and Bonick “are role models for other students,” said Allen Center Health and Fitness Center Specialist Beth Northuis, who serves as the students’ supervisor. “Group fitness can help students find a path toward eating better, losing weight and staying healthy. For faculty and staff, exercise is great stress relief and a great way to have fun.”

Bechard, a senior health promotion/wellness major from Wind Lake, Wisconsin, teaches:

  • 3, 2, 1 – a class that repeats through three minutes of strength training, two minutes of cardio training and one minute of abdominal exercises.
  • Turbo Kick, a class similar to kickboxing.
  • Butts ‘n’ Guts, which trains backside and stomach muscles.

Bechard also helps schedule group fitness classes throughout the year, evaluates other Allen Center fitness instructors and classes, and promotes group fitness to the campus. Her parents also attended UW-Stevens Point.

“I tried group fitness when I was a freshman and I loved the atmosphere,” she said. “It’s hard to leave class feeling upset because it’s such great stress relief. I feel like it’s beneficial for your whole body, and then there’s the social factor. It’s a great way to meet new people.”

Bonick, a senior math major from Brillion, Wisconsin, teaches:

  • Two cycling and abs classes
  • An abs class

Bonick also participates in hiring Allen Center staffers, prepares classes, and helps group fitness attendees find their workout and fitness potential.

“I could be having the worst day ever,” Bonick said. “Then I’ll come to class, work out and I feel a lot better. Everyone is there to have a good time. You leave knowing you did something good for yourself.”

These class titles might sound intimidating, but Bechard and Bonick tailor their teaching styles to those who attend. In fact, they make developing a fitness routine easy with three simple steps:

  1. Pick a class: Choose whichever class appeals to you.

  2. Attend the class: Participate in group fitness with your fellow Pointers.

  3. Fall in love with fitness: Enjoy meeting new people while doing something tremendous for your health.

“Our classes are totally about what you can do,” Bonick said. “You don’t need any special skills or equipment. Group fitness is for everyone. We just want you to try to get to where you can be.”

“We encourage everyone to give it one shot,” Bechard said. “It’s so uplifting and motivating, it gives you a workout without feeling like you’re working out.”

Classes run through Wednesday, July 30. Join as many or as few classes as you want. Attend when it’s convenient for you and reap the benefits of enjoyable exercise. Classes also are free for students during the academic year and available to faculty and staff for a small fee.

For more information on what the Allen Center offers, call 715-346-4711.

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