UB fitness event bolsters awareness for importance of health and fitness

Multiple organizations help host event


The click of a jump rope, students exploding up and then landing for a jump squat, people huffing as they do jumping jacks – though it may seem like a scene out of the Alumni Arena gym, it isn’t.

Instead it was in the Student Union Flag Room on Friday afternoon, where students exercised and raised money as part of the Fitness Expo. With about 30 people in attendance, the main focus was to show the benefits of fitness – specifically calisthenics – and how it could positively affect one’s overall health, while raising money for specific causes.

Many of the organizations that participated had their own specific charities they were fundraising for. Competitions were set up to see who could do the most pull-ups, push-ups and other calisthenics. High-intensity workout music played through the speakers to motivate participants.

The winners took home prizes like an abdominal wheel and other fitness tools.

“We feel it’s important to show people the immense potential they have within them through fitness,” said Elijah Tyson, a junior business major and president of the UB Barbarianz helped organize the event.

Tyson believes that fitness is a major key toward making good decisions in life. Tyson believes that many of the people who make unhealthy fitness decisions make poor decisions overall and with this event he hopes to bring awareness of that cycle to people.

Members of the fraternity Pi Kappa Phi had a member on a stationary bike for 16 hours for their charity “The Ability Experience.”

“The ability experience helps those less fortunate academically, professionally and athletically,” said Mike Warden, a sophomore exercise science major and president of Pi Kappi Phi.

Warden said that their bike-a-thon event helps bring awareness to the foundation and shows the importance of cardio.

Pretty Girls Sweat is another organization that participated in the event. Their goal is to highlight the importance of women engaging in regular fitness activities daily. They held a raffle giveaway where the prizes included yoga mats, blender bottles, waist trainers and other fitness-inspired items.

According to Jessica Calderon, a junior communication major, it’s important to spread awareness about fitness since most people don’t get the exercise they need.

“Four out of five of the world’s population doesn’t get the right amount of fitness, especially women,” Calderon said. “We want to promote the good that fitness can bring to people’s lives.”

Calderon was running the Pretty Girls Sweat part of the event. They have a trending hash tag #prettygirlssweat on all forms of social media so those who are interested in the movement can keep up with all the new developments of the organization.

The organizations that ran the event brought their own callisthenic equipment to demonstrate to those curious about how to use them. They also had healthy foods available including salads, subs, wraps and low-sugar, gluten-free fruit rolls and water.

“For me being physically healthy and engaged daily helps keep me mentally healthy and engaged,” said Mardi Mangus, a sophomore exercise science major. “Stressful things like school and the expectations that come with it creates a disconnect between physical and mental health. Working out relieves me from any type of depression I might be going through.”

Mangus is also on the e-board for the UB Barbarianz. She loves working out because it’s a great chance to relieve stress alone. The changes she sees with her physical appearance also help her self-esteem.

The event helped show people the importance of dedicating some of their time to bettering themselves physically. Fitness might also have some stress-relieving effects, which could be helpful to some students this time of year with finals just around the corner.

Jamal Allard is a staff writer and can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com