Physical Education classes being offered in the spring semester to boost physical and mental health

By Amanda Zacharias
November 21, 2019

In the spring 2020 semester there are three one-credit physical education classes being offered. CPR First Aid, Zen Yoga and Volleyball are available for students. These classes offer a combination of physical and mental health benefits. 

PED 111 – CPR First Aid

Taught by the campus nurse, Susan Fitzgerald, students can earn their American Heart Association heart saver first aid certification. This course provides livesaving instruction for infants, children and adults. The certification earned by completing the course successfully is good for two years. 

Fitzgerald said a lot of practical information is gained by taking the course. “It describes a lot of the situations where individuals can render first aid, correctly do CPR and use an AED, which are all lifesaving,” Fitzgerald said. AED stands for automated external defibrillator, which is a lifesaving device for those with an irregular heart beat. Being in a situation where someone’s life is on the line can be scary but by taking this course and gaining the proper knowledge it can give someone the necessary confidence to perform lifesaving  care until trained help arrives. 

Sample of materials used in the class. Photo by Pixabay.

The course provides overall benefits of a nationally recognized certification that encourages confidence. Developing that confidence is a key mental health benefit.

“You are only providing assistance until trained help arrives. So you’re not in this alone,” Fitzgerald said. Knowing that you are able to provide livesaving care in case of emergency is key. The process of performing CPR can be physically demanding as well. Performing it in the correct and most effective way is crucial and requires physical work.

Fitzgerald added that even if students have received this certification before it never hurts to refresh and practice those skills again. 

The class is an additional $25 for the certification and takes place on a designated weekend. For more information visit the term master schedule or reach out to Susan Fitzgerald. 

PED 118 – Zen Yoga

Zen yoga is a course centered around the mind, body and breath connection. Offering an abundance of both physical and mental health benefits, this course comes highly recommended from instructor Linda Shikitino. 

“When incorporating breath awareness, one is able to live in the moment and heal the body from within,” Shikitino said. This course is open to students of all physical levels.

“As long as you honor your body, meaning pain is a sign to stop or option to modify,” Shikitino said. Being able to push your mind and body is a way of progressing but knowing when to stop is also important. This class can heighten all of your senses as it encourages participants to be fully engaged physically and mentally.

Sample yoga pose. Photo by Pixabay.

Physically, students are able to gain flexibility, strength and promotes blood flow. “In yoga we use our own body resistance which builds strength and endurance,” Shikitino said. There is also a balancing component to yoga.

“Balancing promotes a keener and sharper mind,” Shikitino said. Proper form and poses will have participants balancing better.

“Using breath techniques for mind clarity, balancing, lunch expansion and detoxifying is a natural way to stay healthy,” Shikitino said. Mentally, there are many benefits gained through proper yoga techniques.

This course is offered Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:05 a.m to 12:20 p.m for a set range of dates. For more information visit the term master schedule or reach out to Linda Shikitino. 

PED 110 – Volleyball 

Volleyball is a low-impact sport that can cater to most physical abilities. As described on the term master schedule this course is designed for beginners. Topics covered include volleyball basics such as scorekeeping and serving. 

As a physically demanding sport, participants can get in better physical shape. Through game play, students gain stamina and strengthen the upper body. Throughout the semester students are given the skills to be able to compete competitively. At the end of the semester there is a competitive tournament. 

Sample volleyball equipment. Photo by Pixabay.

This one-credit course can also offer mental health benefits. Being able to expel mental frustration through physical means can be a healthy outlet for frustration, anger and other emotions. 

This low-impact and high-intensity volleyball class is taught by Orlin Jespersen. Volleyball class will meet Wednesdays and Fridays from 12:30 p.m to 1:45 p.m in the Dixon center gym. For more information visit the term master schedule or reach out to Orlin Jespersen. 

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Amanda Zacharias

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