Wellness Center provides student employment

Savannah Sawyer || The News

Having an on-campus job is a convenience of which many students like to take advantage. Some work in offices, dining services and a variety of different areas. Some may say, one of the most rewarding is that of a student fitness instructor for the Wellness Center.

The Wellness Center offers several fitness classes for its patrons throughout the week. These classes not only benefit students health-wise, but also serve as an excellent employment opportunity. Becoming a certified fitness instructor can be a great tool for students trying to maintain their exercise routines and stay involved on campus.

Amber Miller, junior from Owensboro, Ky., has been instructing Zumba at the Wellness Center since the beginning of this semester. Miller has regularly attended the Zumba classes for a year.

“Last year was my first year at Murray State and I really wanted to be active,” she said. “I started going to the class and became a Zumba addict.”

Zumba is one of the most popular fitness crazes to hit Murray State, with more people regularly attending its classes than any other Wellness Center program. It is a cardio workout that combines Latin dances with a variety of exercises for a powerful workout that allows patrons to both accomplish their fitness goals and enjoy themselves.

The classes have been taking off in the past year, leading to more students becoming interested in attending Zumba, and for those like Miller, receiving their certification.

Miller said the cost of her Zumba certification totaled $250, but all fitness instructors at the Wellness Center are paid for their time.

Aside from the personal and financial benefits an instructor receives, there is personal satisfaction to be gained in motivating others.

“I love it,” she said. “I know that I have to go to the gym because it is my job and it gives me a way to clear my head before I start on homework at night.”

While Zumba has grown in popularity, it is not the only class being taught by Murray State students.

Sara Bynum, graduate student from Belleville, Ill., currently teaches Kickboxing Mix at the Wellness Center. Prior to this semester, she also taught the Cardio Sculpt class for the University as a REC 133 course.

Bynum said she loves being a motivator for people taking her class and helping her students reach their fitness goals.

“As the class went on, I saw they had improved so much and were getting healthier,” she said. “It’s a good feeling.”

Like Miller, Bynum decided to become an instructor after attending Murray State fitness classes. She said it was in Master Dinh’s Kickboxing class at Quest Fitness through the University that helped her first decide to become an instructor.

Bynum received her certification through an online course with the International Fitness Association. While the online program is not nationally accredited, it does allow her to work with group fitness courses.

“I feel like it’s a good opportunity,” she said. “It’s helped me with my leadership skills and keeps me going when I want to stop so I can be there for my students.”

Bynum’s Kickboxing Mix class is held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Zumba classes are offered from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The Wellness Center also offers jobs as a lifeguard at the indoor pool.

Lifeguards are responsible for anyone swimming in the pool while they are on duty. They also have the duty of checking the chemical balances in the pool to make sure it is at the correct levels.

The pool hours vary from the Wellness Center hours. The pool is open 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. The pool is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon­ to 9 p.m. on Sundays.