Every other Monday and Wednesday, the Women’s Physique club meets to promote healthy female body image and the importance of fitness both within the group and throughout the Rowan University community.
The club first started at the suggestion of Dr. Joanne Bullard, a health and exercise science professor who is now the club’s faculty advisor.
“The whole message is to have a healthy body, but also have a healthy mind behind it,” said Bullard. “It’s not just what you look like, it’s not how fit you are. It’s that you are thinking positively about yourself and that you can support each other along [everyone’s] journeys.”
The Women’s Physique club accepts any female Rowan student at anytime. Danielle Bernero, a junior health promotion and wellness management major, joined the club because of her own personal struggles with her body image.
“I was always overweight all my life,” Bernero said. “Junior year of high school I went through a little kind of awakening. I started getting thinner. Senior year I lost 50 pounds on my own. And then just I found my love for health and fitness and everything related to it.”
The events the club hosts are intended to promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image. In keeping with this theme, last semester the club hosted a plank-off. All members of the Rowan campus were invited to participate by holding a plank for as long as they could.
Although a male won the plank off, Morgan McCann, junior health and exercise science major and vice president of the Women’s Physique Club, felt it was a successful event.
“I think — especially being that it was during that whole threat thing to Philadelphia schools — we were worried that we weren’t going to get people,” McCann said. “But we actually got a good amount of people.”
The club plans to host more events this semester to promote its message of body positivity, starting with a push-up competition in March. The event will be open to anyone on campus, male or female.
“There [are] some girls that can bench press more than some guys and push-up more, so it really depends on who comes out,” said McCann.
Other events the Woman’s Physique club have done together include kickboxing class and zumba class. They also plan to take a pole-dancing class in Philadelphia and cross-fit classes later on.
“We try all different types of [exercises] just to get a variety of fitness type things,” said McCann.
All current and new members are welcome to participate in these activities.
“It’s not to get skinny,” said Bernero. “It’s more of just to love yourself, even if you want to lose weight or [gain] muscle. Just love yourself throughout the journey. And we’re here to help you with that journey.”
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