RRC shares monthly fitness challenges to keep students healthy

By Kaitlyn Kozarchuk

Red River College student practicing squats to stay healthy at the Fitness Centre at the RRC Roblin Centre./

The Red River Rebels are pushing to make exercise less optional and more essential through their 30-day Wellness Challenge.

The Red River College (RRC) website offers a free download for any of the nine fitness plans including strength, cardio and yoga. Staff and students at RRC have the chance to win monthly prizes by uploading pictures of themselves completing the challenges.

Mario De Negri, the fitness coordinator at RRC and creator of the challenges, said that the goal of the program is to give people a starting point for exercising.

“There’s a systemic need for people to choose to move. I see movement as a medicine, a pill. If you didn’t take it today, you’re not doing your work,” he said.

The Rebels also host a Lunch and Learn series where students can learn more about how to live a healthy lifestyle. They run twice a month, and November’s topic is mindfulness.

Copies of the 30-Day Wellness Challenge can also be picked up in the Red River College Fitness Centre./

Although these resources are free, De Negri said they are not being used enough. He said part of this is because people are afraid of being in pain.

“We need to learn to be more comfortable with discomfort,” said the fitness coordinator. “If our society doesn’t teach us to endure that discomfort, then we need to fix our priorities.”

Ruth Lindsey-Armstrong, a participant in the challenges agreed that it is difficult to get people motivated to exercise.

The Early Childhood Education Instructor said her family history of Parkinson’s and arthritis is what motivates her to stay active.

Yet not everyone has the same amount of motivation, she said.

“It’s like the old adage – You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink,” said Lindsey-Armstrong.

De Negri said the process of staying healthy is an evolving experience that changes depending on your age.

“You never get to say, ‘Oh, I made it.’ I still have to learn what a fifty-year-old experiences, and a sixty-year-old experiences.”

Like all other disciplines, De Negri said staying healthy requires pushing yourself to your limits. He recommends starting with the challenges that are the most difficult.

“Your exercise should be hard enough that it’s challenging, but close enough that it’s attainable,” he said.

If you’re not sure how to achieve that, the 30-day challenge is the place to start.