‘Fit 50’ program rewards active employees

The Fit 50 Club is a title reserved for only a certain few on Union’s campus — staff, faculty and community members who are more active than most in Wellness Services’ fitness center.

The most recent Fit 50 session, which began Aug. 21, 2012, and ends May 18, involves someone attending 50 workout sessions that last at least 20 minutes each. Their spouses also are allowed to participate.

Students are not included in the Fit 50 Club.

Blake Pennington, director of Wellness Services and a Union alumnus, keeps up with the progress of those involved in the program.

After working as the intramural director for three years, Pennington took up his new position as director and has been keeping track of the four-year-old club since August.

“It’s a program that I decided to keep because everyone loved it,” Pennington said. “It was a great incentive to people, and I’ve received some great feedback that they like to have something to keep them accountable.”

The program is based on an honor system. Participants must keep track of their workout sessions with a punch card featuring dates.

After finishing their session in either the fitness center or aquatics center, a participant must circle the correct date for his workout and, after reaching 50 workouts, must present that card to Pennington.

The prize for their efforts is not only a clean bill of health but also a T-shirt representing all of their hard work. A picture of those who complete the program also is placed on a bulletin board outside of the center.

Webster Drake, associate professor of communication arts, department chairman and director of debate, has been a successful participant for more than three years.

“It’s great for motivation, and it appeals to one’s competitive side,” Drake said.

Drake and Steve Beverly, associate professor of communication arts, use the program as a healthy competition.

Pennington also offers incentives to students, since they cannot participate in the Fit 50 Club.

If a student completes 20 workouts and has the required marks on his punch card, he may take the card to Pennington and, in return, choose from a number of coupons for Snappy Tomato Pizza, Panera Bread or Smoothie King, among others.

Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream