Almost four years after the introduction of FITWELL (Fitness and Wellness) to DLSU’s curriculum, the course has continued to receive a lot of praise not just from the instructors, but from the students as well.
“It really motivated me to be fit and healthy. In a way, it changed my lifestyle,” says Anthony Borromeo (V, BS-CIV), who took the course even though it was not included in his flowchart.
With favorable results for the program coming in bunches, the University looks to further improve the course by integrating a new experience into the curriculum: yoga.
“Yes, we know that FITWELL has been around for only four years, but why stop now? The students like it,” says Dr. Janet Mariano, chair of the Physical Education Department of the Br. Andrew Gonzalez College of Education.
To mold and encourage students to become more physically fit, FITWELL, a two-unit Physical Education (PE) course was introduced to the DLSU ID 112 curricula during academic year (AY) 2012-2013. The course aims to promote healthy and fit habits amidst the stressful demands from academics and other extra-curricular activities. Aside from the usual class sessions, students receive weekly aerobic and cardiovascular exercises and fitness tests to accomplish every week.
“We thought of this way back. We saw that the other FT sports don’t really encourage the students to exercise,” Mariano mentions. “With FITWELL, they can integrate their lessons at home or in a gym.”
The course took a big leap when it introduced its own culminating activity back in 2012. Held at the Cory Aquino Democratic Space, the culminating activity allows for students taking the course to follow a fitness instructor on stage and perform basic exercise routines to the beat of the music However, it does burn calories and gives them a lighter feeling at the end of the activity.
“At first it sounded so hassle and embarrassing, I mean, we have to dance outside with a lot people watching, even outsiders could see us. But it was actually pretty fun,” says Raya Teston (I, AB-PSY).
To top it all off, FITWELL was actually the highest rated course according to ITEO’s data, with a lot of students giving it a grade of 4.0 during the evaluations. For the PE Department, however, improvement should be a continuous process.
Bring out the mats
Dancing won’t be the lone main activity for FITWELL as the option to practice yoga would be available starting next school year. To improve cardiovascular and circulatory health, while also working on areas such as balance, energy, and vitality, the yoga version of FITWELL would cater to students who prefer a subtler approach to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“We’ll take it slow first, and try it out for two sections only, after which, we’ll do an evaluation,” Mariano says. “If it works out well, just like the original FITWELL, then we can add more sections and set up its own culminating activity.”
As of press time, the PE Department would be the one to provide the mats for the students. In fact, DLSU has already confirmed their partnership with a local store in Divisoria to supply the said mats.
With the integration of yoga to La Salle’s curriculum, DLSU could arguably have one of the more diverse Physical Education programs in the country. Although there are still a lot of preparations for the course’s introduction for the next trimester, it is assured that the new course would be exciting and worthwhile.