A common term used for drinking during the week, specifically on Thursdays, is “Thirsty Thursday,” but the Anna Fascitelli Fitness and Wellness Center is taking a new spin on the phrase.
Last semester, when the facility opened, fitness and wellness specialist Courtney Mackey started this new offering. Every Thursday, from 5-7:30 p.m., the center offers free smoothies at the Resource Center, located on the bottom floor of the building. Mackey said that she wanted to bring students’ attention to the Resource Center and engage them in wellness activities. She said that students were very excited about the new equipment, but as a wellness and fitness specialist, she believes it is important to focus on health as well.
Amanda Connerton, wellness intern, said that the smoothies are made from bananas, milk, peanut butter and other natural whole foods. Although this blended beverage is usually made very sweet, Connerton explained that the center is really focusing on nutrition and wants to offer healthy options for students working out. The goal is to help students with posture, eating and exercise motivation, Connerton said.
“I think it’s great how we are bringing in negative quotes we use on campus to refer to going out and turning them into a positive statement,” Emily Manis, Fascitelli Center employee, said.
So far, Connerton said that the outcome on Thursdays have been around 100 people, and she hopes the crowd will continue to attend.
“It’s pretty popular,” Connerton said. “College kids are drawn in by free smoothies, and a majority of people in here are interested in nutrition anyway.”
Aside from free smoothies, there are also different wellness and nutrition topic activities every Thursday. While students enjoy their smoothies, there is always an activity being held to bring health awareness.
Additionally, another class they offer will take place on Monday nights, including Nov. 3, 10, 17 and 24 at 6:30 p.m. These classes will pertain to topics including nutrition, fitness, body image, mindfulness and stress management. On Tuesday nights, to help encourage positive food choices, the center collaborates with dining services to create “Try It Out Tuesday,” which offers free food and samples every other Tuesday from 5-7:30 p.m. Mackey said that “even with a meal plan, students need to see that they have healthy options.” Students also have the option of a free nutrition coach, who can have weekly meetings to help keep track of their diet.
“I think it’s important to have an open mind in college,” Mackey said. “There’s a lot of information you can gain about wellness, and even if you’re not on the right track right now, at least you can have the tools for when you’re ready for a health behavior change.” Mackey said that students should take advantage of the free food.
Mackey explained that sometimes, people who are working out and are on the route to getting healthy sometimes get stuck in there own ways, but it is imperative to keep an open mind and discover new perspectives and ideas.