Living a Healthy Lifestyle: College Edition

By Amanda Joerndt 

Youngstown State University is featuring their first ever intergenerational fitness classes, “mixed with aerobic and dancing movement,” to bring all ages together to celebrate healthy lifestyles and different styles of exercise.

Many students find it difficult to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives, while handling the responsibilities of being a college student.

YSU gives students resources on how to stay healthy and physically active while going through their college experience through on- and off-campus events, fitness classes and on-campus activities through the recreation center.

The campus offers many different fitness and wellness opportunities for students to be active throughout their daily lives.

One of the newest opportunities for people who want to enjoy an upbeat and fun fitness class is offered on campus for anyone to join.

Nicole Mullins, professor of kinesiology and sports science, brought the idea for free intergenerational fitness classes to campus for students to bring their friends and family to exercise with.

Mullins said it’s important for students to have a diverse experience when dealing with exercise.

“We brought in an instructor, Lana Eddy Campfield, who modifies exercises for different levels,” Mullins said. “We want to promote fitness in anyway we can and I want students to get more involved with different age groups.”

The new fitness classes are mixed with aerobic and dancing movement along with light weightlifting options to get your heart rate up.

Having physical activity in your daily routine is crucial for college students and their ability to function properly.

Mullins said exercise should be something students look forward to doing each day.

“From a student’s perspective, it enhances your cognitive ability and helps you manage stress better,” Mullins said. “It helps you have a better focus, and lowers depression and anxiety. It makes you feel better about yourself and helps with your self-esteem.”

The Andrews Student and Recreation Wellness Center offers students opportunities to expand their college experience.

The campus rec gives individuals a chance to exercise on their own or take part in group activities to feel connected with other students on campus.

Alex Ankerman, a first-year counseling student in the graduate studies program, is a student employee at the rec center.

He said there are many different opportunities to become involved at the rec center that student can take part in and incorporate into their daily lives.

“We offer club sports, Rec Extra, welcome week events, intramurals and 27 different Group X classes are offered here,” Ankerman said.

The rec center gives students an outlet to deal with stress in a positive and healthy way.

Joy Polkabla Byers, campus recreation director, focuses on the long term planning of the rec center and setting goals for the department.

She said there has been an increase in student involvement at the rec center.

“We’ve seen a growth in our adventure recreation programs where there are more trips from white water rafting to hiking,” Polkabla Byers said.

The campus rec gives students who don’t incorporate physical activity into their daily lives a chance to experience fun activities while attending classes.

Ankerman said students can enjoy Group X classes while enjoying a movie throughout the class.

“We do offer things for students who may not have an active interest in fitness and wellness like one thing we do for students is we show movies while attending spinning classes,” he said.

Students can incorporate physical activity into their daily lives while being a student at YSU in fun and interactive ways.

For more information on how to get involved in campus programs, visit