SRWC offers opportunities to live healthy, socialize

Josh Rouse

Success can be defined several different ways. An individual can be rich to be considered successful, or have a loving marriage or a lifestyle they enjoy. But Joel Bluml, director of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center at Washburn, believes one major component trumps all others as a key factor in determining success.

“Living a healthy lifestyle is actually one of the things that I think most people agree, regardless of their academic pursuits or their career endeavors, that when they picture themselves as successful or happy in life,” said Bluml. “They see themselves as being healthy.”

Bluml said a lot of students don’t think long term goals when working out, but the SRWC is geared toward altering the sedentary lifestyle that many choose to lead.

“A lot of students don’t think about it in that aspect right now,” said Bluml. “That’s one of the things I like to stress is that it is about the long term and getting yourself on the path to a healthy lifestyle now so when you are in later years you incorporate that as second nature so you are more productive and more active and you feel better and can do the things you want to do.”

On Monday, Aug. 17, the SRWC converted back to its regular hours of operations. Prior to that, the SRWC was running shortened hours because of summer break, and closed at 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. With the fall semester officially underway, the SRWC currently stays open from 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday. The rock climbing wall, one of the popular features of the SRWC, is also open from 4-8 p.m. every day except for Saturday, when it is closed.

“We do stay open late because, yes, we know people do want to work out,” said Bluml. “We usually have people in here until 11 o’clock.”

While Bluml said the SRWC doesn’t currently have any new additions, he looks forward to seeing what new items may find a way into the SRWC this fall.

“We always add different intramural sports to the program,” said Bluml. “We may be demoing some different exercise equipment this fall. We also have a wide variety of group exercise classes available so depending on whether you’ve tried those before, they may be new to you, as well.”

The group exercise classes consist of Amped Abs, Aerobics, Body Shop/Aerobics, Core Strength, Nordic Walking, Spin City, Spin-N-Sculpt and Yoga. Participants may reserve a spot in class by signing up at the front desk one hour before class, and there are no additional fees. Full descriptions of each class, along with a monthly class schedule, can be located at the SRWC Web site at under the group exercise tab.

While the classes are a major benefit, Bluml said he can’t tell what students see as the biggest benefit of the SRWC.

“I think every individual student … may give you a different answer,” said Bluml. “There’s multiple benefits. Just the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle, to learn about living a healthy lifestyle and having the opportunity to do it through the programs we offer is huge. There’s a big social component to it. There’s a co-curricular educational element to participating at the Rec, that learning outside of the classroom. Interacting with your peers and people of diverse populations. There’s lots of benefits that go with it.”

The SRWC, which resides just south of Yager Stadium near the Art Building, offers students a chance to chase their goal of healthy living, free of charge with Washburn ID.

“We just want to encourage everyone to check us out,” said Bluml. “One of the things is when people decide to start their exercise program; you have to have a reason why you want to be healthy. Once you identify that reason, then hopefully we can support you. But, we’re here to support you whether you choose to exercise or learn about wellness within our walls or if you have interests that lie outside our walls, we’d still like to be a resource for you.”