BYU-Idaho’s Campus Wellness program’s enrollment tripled from the years 2009 to 2012.
“Wellness is for everyone, no matter what size you are,” said Philip Crane, the Campus Wellness coordinator. “You could be obese, and we have a program for you. You could be fit, and we have a program for you.”
The program has seen its cumulative enrollment increase from 17,445 in 2009 to 44,336 in 2012, and during Winter Semester 2013, more than 17,000 individuals took advantage of some of the programs that Campus Wellness offers.
“I think that increase came when we changed the name of the program from Campus Fitness to Campus Wellness,” Crane said.
Crane said that the word “fitness” may have been intimidating to those just starting out.
Campus Wellness encompasses the Wellness Center, the Fitness Center and Wellness Activities, including Try-a-Tri and the Biggest Winner competition.
The Wellness Center also offers free fitness assessments, skin fold tests and nutrition assistance and performs blood cholesterol tests for $20.
“You go to the Wellness Center to learn how to start,” said Brandon Plunkett, a senior studying health science and the director of the Wellness Center. “Then, you go to the Fitness Center to do the work and attend the events to have fun.”
Plunkett said the programs are designed to fit together and to teach those who participate about wellness, including nutrition, effective exercise and taking care of their bodies.
Allison Evans, a senior studying English, attends a free yoga class she heard about from her roommate.
“I initially went to sport a friend, but I’ve noticed that I feel more relaxed after I go. I love it,” Evans said.
Evans said she generally leads a healthy lifestyle anyway, but still enjoys the fitness classes.
“They’re fun, they’re free — it’s a great service,” Evans said.
Madison Cline, a senior studying recreational therapy and the campus wellness director over fitness instructors, said that another goal of the program is to teach healthy habits early.
“We want people to be healthy and for people to learn to love being fit,” Cline said.
Cline said these are important to learn now to avoid health problems later in life.
“We just want to teach that a healthy lifestyle is an enjoyable lifestyle,” Cline said. “We are very concerned and want people to be their best selves.”
Lisa Robison, an advisor with Campus Wellness, said program administrators aren’t looking to make students thin.
“We want to make sure we’re healthy inside, no matter what we look like,” Robison said. “The new ‘fit’ is muscular, not skinny. We’re more focused on whole wellness and not so much on what we’re sposed to look like.”
Program administrators said they hope students get involved through volunteering and participating in events.
“Even in the leadership positions, there’s something for everyone,” said Krista Wayment, a senior studying recreational therapy and the Campus Wellness area director. “It’s an opportunity to improve our skills in leadership.”
Wayment said having enough volunteers is important to the success of the program.