What started as the idea of a third-year neuroscience student and fourth-year kinesiology student has grown into a University of Calgary initiative to help people stay fit.
HealthyU, established in 2020, is led by passionate and knowledgeable students about health and fitness. It aims to provide UCalgary students with accessible fitness plans to suit their busy schedules and accessible through the club’s website..
“The purpose of this club is for students to use their knowledge and develop their skills as students of kinesiology and science, to help students engage in physical activity and ultimately take an active role in their own. health with accurate information, ”says the kinesiology instructor. Dr John Holash, BPE’95, MSc’00, PhD’17, team educational advisor.
“You can’t always rely on others to give you the opportunity to do something, to be the change you want to see; sometimes you have to create this yourself.
Filling a need
Harshil Shah, founder and vice president of HealthyU, says many students need personalized, accessible, and cost-effective fitness programs, which few fitness organizations offer. HealthyU is setting a precedent that students themselves can form a community where they can help each other.
On the one hand, Shah saw a gap between students with unique constraints who might not be able to follow traditional fitness plans and kinesiology students who are passionate and knowledgeable about healthy lifestyles. , fitness, nutrition and physiology.
“I saw this gap and felt like it could be narrowed if you just connected these two groups of people,” says the neuroscience student. “Kinesiology students can hone their skills by practicing making fitness plans and having that real-life experience, as well as using their passion to help other students.”
Shah says he didn’t have the resources or the in-depth knowledge of kinesiology and fitness to move the club forward on his own. Therefore, he teamed up with kinesiology students at UCalgary and they made the idea come true.
Advocacy for a healthier lifestyle
Jorge Rueda, co-founder and president of the club, is passionate about sharing his knowledge about fitness and healthy lifestyles acquired through his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and his personal experience as a passionate athlete.
Rueda had the opportunity to volunteer for the Kinesiology Human Performance Lab where he participated in fitness testing and post-treatment analysis. He also participated in a few studies for an honorary thesis that involved incremental speed ramp exercises and a study on the effects of contralateral pain in the legs and how it affects force production. This experience further improved his familiarity with fitness and physiology.
“I think HealthyU would have the impact of really making a case for a healthier lifestyle (for) all students and not just stopping at aesthetics,” says Rueda, adding that it is to “really go the extra mile and create a reliable information network to learn how to work for people who are not as educated or who are not as knowledgeable in this regard. So I think the greatest impact is would be to provide students with reliable, fun and healthy knowledge.
Fitness planners help members
Ana Ramirez, a third-year kinesiology major, was the club’s first fitness planner and is now one of three. As a fitness planner, her role is to create exercise and nutrition plans for the limbs.
Ramirez has volunteered with UCalgary Rehabilitation and Fitness as well as Beast-Mode Fitness, an exercise program for teens / young adults with autism. During these fitness programs, she worked one-on-one with the participants to guide and assist them with personalized fitness plans created by a trainer. This added to his expertise and fueled his passion for health and fitness. Ramirez’s favorite part about the club is sharing her knowledge as a kinesiology student and helping people achieve their fitness goals.
Club leaders say HealthyU will have a positive impact on the Calgary community by providing specific fitness knowledge that is specifically tailored to the busy schedules of college students.
Over time, the club has refined itself. At the start, each member received a personalized fitness plan that targeted their specific goals; however, it added more weight to the team’s already busy schedules. Therefore, the team came to a consensus to create a website where clients could fill out surveys to receive their fitness plans. They also have an Instagram page at @itshealthyu, where they promote their club.
For more information on HealthyU, see the website.