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Innovative KIN-ACT Blends Classroom Lectures, Physical Activity


Student advisors take note: a new class launched this fall is blending traditional lectures on health and well being with at least 20 minutes of planned exercises for students. KIN-ACT: Intro to Healthy College Living is being taught as part of the BroncoFit initiative. The 10-week, one-credit class is targeted at incoming freshmen and aims to educate young adults on topics they wouldn’t normally learn in a university setting such as finance, injury prevention and crafting a personal wellness plan.

However, “every student, no matter their degree, can take a KINACT class,” added Michelle Ihmels, director of Wellness Services. “There’s room in their degree for it and some majors require it.” Students receive an activity elective credit for the class.

“In upholding the ideals of BroncoFit, we decided to add a physical activity component to each class and it’s been a huge hit,” said Tina Freeman, an academic advisor with the kinesiology department. The activities included yoga, drumming, dance and mini boot camp sessions. “This is a personal health class but we want to look at health and wellness from a different perspective and show how easy it is to make small changes in your daily routine to improve mental, emotional and physical well-being.”

The KIN-ACT class also incorporated MyZone heart monitors into its homework load, asking students to wear the monitors and meet the CDC requirements for weekly exercise (which is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week for adults) as part of their pass/fail grade.

“The philosophy now is moving from prescribed health to shared partnership in your health,” Ihmels said. “You need to make health decisions and have a role in that. This is a different way of thinking for 18-22 year olds, who are used to mom taking them to the doctor, and that’s why this class is so important.”

Freeman added, “The main feedback we’ve gotten from students is, ‘wow, I wish I would’ve learned this in high school.’”