Humber fitness incentive program encourages students to get active

by | Feb 28, 2014 | Sports

Ari Salas
Sports Reporter

Humber students are flocking to the gym to achieve their fitness goals through the incentive program at the Lakeshore and North campuses.

Humber Lakeshore Recreation and Fitness Coordinator Nathania Bron said she started the program last year, offering “swag” – t-shirts, lanyards, and other hard goods – to help encourage students to get more active.

The incentive program has students record their names on a giant whiteboard to publicly record when they make it to the gym. Those who achieve the monthly challenge are put into a raffle to win prizes, Bron said.

Bron said the swag, however, isn’t the biggest draw.

“People are buying into that incentive as well as just buying into the fact that they visually see [the benefit of staying fit]. When you see your friends and they’re hitting the gym more than you there’s an element of competitiveness that motivates them.”

Early challenges were set targets like running half a marathon within a month. However, the program has taken a new approach, one in which students set personal, achievable goals geared to their fitness level, Bron explained.

“Success to some people is (they) came to the gym once, and that’s awesome. For other people that’s just one workout and they come five times a week. I would rather them set their own standard of success.”

Bron said she wants to keep encouraging athletes to come but to also motivate new people in different ways. The program is thriving and consistently drawing between 40 and 80 participants each month.

“A public goal in a public space is harder to blow off than the idea of going to the gym today”, Bron said.

Part-time Lakeshore gym worker and music program student Ilsa Gurtins agrees.

“It helps with dedication and keeps you on track and consistent with your workouts to see the long-term results. Having a consistent check in is almost like clocking out, to give yourself a reminder to come back.”

Gurtins also said the biggest conflict for her is fitting the gym into her schedule. It’s hard to find the time or energy between rehearsals in her case she explained.

Bron said that students definitely struggle to find the time to stay active, but added it’s an essential goal to pursue.

“One of the biggest things to say to students is that there’s so much benefit to being healthy and active. Your body is kind of an important thing,” she said.