Summer WorkFit program a hit
Drop by a lunchtime circuit training class at the Kaiser Center and you might think it was a party rather than an exercise class. The upbeat music can be heard from the escalator and the instructor’s passion is contagious.
“It’s fun,” said Kathy Kirkpatrick, Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC) special projects specialist. “It forces you to get out of your chair and raise your activity level.” Her favorite part is the variety of stretches they perform.
Other staff members echoed Kirkpatrick’s sentiments.
“The program has been a real treat. It gives me an opportunity and a reason to get away from my desk three times a week and the coaches are great,” said Sally Philbin, a compliance manager in the H.R. department. “I like the camaraderie of the group, the enthusiasm of the coaches, the feeling I get from participating, and the walk through the Kaiser roof garden to get there and return to work. The music is another plus.”
Being able to attend during her lunch hour makes it especially convenient, Philbin said.
Circuit training and yoga classes are being offered at both the Kaiser and Franklin buildings this summer as part of the new WorkFit program, sponsored by UC Risk Services.
Led by certified instructors from UC Berkeley’s Department of Recreational Sports, the circuit training classes build strength, endurance, flexibility and balance, while the yoga classes focus on learning sun salutations, seated/standing poses and proper breathing techniques.
Both courses are structured so that participants move through a series of “stations,” where they engage in different exercises.
An earlier mini-pilot program at the Franklin Building quickly sold out and received such positive feedback that Risk Services expanded the program to accommodate more people. More than 127 staff members have enrolled.
Blaze Farrar, a program support specialist in Education Partnerships, decided to participate because it was an affordable option for changing her exercise routine.
“Also, it is a great opportunity to get to know colleagues from other areas—a continuing quest of mine,” she said.
Like Kirkpatrick, Philbin and Farrar, Steve Ong, a customer service representative in the Retirement Administration Service Center, said he appreciates the enthusiastic instructors and would recommend the courses to all UCOP staff.
The exercise regimen is suited for any level, he said.
“The instructors tailor the courses to be sensitive to individuals’ limits. They’re very helpful,” Ong said. The instructors tell participants the reasons for each exercise, show proper form and give guidance on more challenging ways of doing the exercises.
“The coaches are very tuned in to the individual needs of the participants. When I need special help to adjust an exercise to my needs, they are right there to help,” Philbin said.
It’s not too late to join the summer of fun and fitness. Sign up at http://www.recsports.berkeley.edu/workfitpayment and select from the options under Franklin or Kaiser. Class sessions are now available at half-price – just $25 for a FlexPass that is good for any class through Aug. 27.
Franklin Street Building Sessions (former credit union space)
- *Circuit Training: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 11:30 am-12:15 pm
- Circuit Training: Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 12:30-1:15 pm
- Circuit Training: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:15 am-noon
- Circuit Training: Tuesday & Thursday, 1:00-1:45 pm
- Circuit Training: Tuesday & Thursday, 4:45-5:30 pm
- Yoga: Monday & Wednesday, 4:45-5:30 pm
*Class will not be held on August 18. Participants will receive a coupon for use at the session of their choice.
Kaiser Mall Building (Room 260)
- Circuit Training: Monday, Wednesday & Friday, noon-12:45 pm
- Circuit Training: Tuesday & Thursday, noon-12:45 pm
- Yoga: Tuesday & Thursday, 5:00- 5:45 pm