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March 3, 2016

Gym-phobic? Be Fit Pitt offers help for novices

Be Fit Pitt, which sends tips for in-office and on-campus fitness via text messages, this month begins offering group sessions to introduce the novice exerciser to the gym, and individual sessions to help them devise personal fitness strategies.

Renee J. Rogers, faculty member in the School of Education’s Department of Health and Physical Activity and director of the University’s health and fitness program, says the new program, called Making the Move (, was designed to help people overcome barriers to using a gym and becoming more active.

“We need to be better about helping people make that first step,” Rogers says. “Usually you just join a gym and you’re on your own.”

The first Making the Move, with four group sessions on Wednesday evenings beginning March 16, is restricted to 20 people, and requires a $50 registration fee. It aims to help participants with their exercise form and introduce them to the fitness machines in Trees Hall’s health and fitness center, offering coaching about safe form, proper adjustments and breathing techniques when using the equipment.

Gyms can be intimidating when approached without any knowledge about their equipment, Rogers says. “It’s deeper than that they just don’t enjoy it,” she says of gym novices. “It’s that they don’t know what to do.

“There’s a lot of different ways you can be physically active,” she adds. “Let’s really use the program to find out what is comfortable for you.”

Following the group sessions, participants will work one-on-one with graduate students and others in Rogers’ department during April to create a workout plan.

To sign up for the group sessions, call 412-648-8320 or send an email to Making the Move is open to all in the Pitt community, not just the 1,400 people who are signed up for Be Fit Pitt texts.

—Marty Levine 

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