Every other Tuesday or Thursday this semester, Amber Kavehkar, the High Plains Fitness Center coordinator, will host a Fit Talk – an informative session teaching Front Range Community College students about health and fitness.
In each session Amber will give a short presentation to help students lead more active lifestyles. The topics range from comparing machine and free-weight exercises, to revealing the 20 most-functional foods for fitness.
During the most recent Fit Talk titled “Machines Versus Free-Weights” Kavehkar explained that using both types of equipment is the best way to maximize a workout. For example, while machines are easy to use, they actually neglect specific muscle areas.
Kavehkar and her employees teach members at the fitness center how to use machines and free-weights to meet their fitness goals and avoid injuries.
She wants FRCC students to know that physical activity holds specific benefit for students.
“In order for the mind to function well, it has to be connected to the body,” Kavehkar said, “Exercise helps re-connect us to our bodies in a way that can benefit the mind.”
Studies have found that adding exercise to a school routine can not only increase retention but also lower stress levels. In fact, students who add a short workout to their pre-exam routines increase their retention levels 20 to 40 percent.
Kavehkar is determined to get more Front Range Community College students to visit the fitness center because of the positive effects of exercise on the mind.
“We ask ourselves, ‘how can we get more students to graduate, transfer to four-year schools and be successful once they’re there,’’ she said, “I’ve looked at studies that directly correlate exercise to better performance on tests. If we can engage more of our student population in a healthy lifestyle, more of them will be successful down the road.”
Despite the studies that favor exercise, a majority of FRCC students avoid the gym.
“I’ve found that a lack of knowledge is often what scares people away from the gym,” Kavehkar said. “Maybe someone isn’t sure what kind of equipment to use or how to use it. Most people are very self-conscious and no one wants to look silly trying to figure out how to use a machine.”
Fit Talks teach students how to exercise properly and why exercise is beneficial. In addition to Fit Talks, Kavehkar also offers a variety free fitness classes. “It’s all about keeping things fresh while maintaining a level of consistency,” Kavehkar said. “Just ask yourself what do I want out of my workout? Come in and talk to me and we can set up a personalized routine that works just for you.”
The only true way for one to connect to one’s body is through the vigorous use of it. A consistent workout routine, in combination with Amber’s wealth of knowledge, helps students stay energized and focused.
Students who exercise feel great, score well on tests, and challenge themselves to be better people.
“You must first connect to yourself in order to connect to other people,” Kavehkar said.
Written by Christopher Kemp
Photo by Christopher Kemp