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We believe physical activity and exercise are vital to the well-being of every person. Here in Campus Recreation, we are actively working on virtual opportunities which will allow our #ActiveILLINI to access the resources they need to thrive in the classroom and in life. We encourage you to reach out to us if you have thoughts on how to help the Campus Rec community stay connected or ideas for resources we can provide during this time.


This fall, let us help you 'Find Your Fit'. It is our goal to serve our Campus Community by assisting you to move more. We are considering offering Group Fitness in a brand new way in order to meet your changing needs. If you haven’t already, please take the time to give us your feedback on how you would like to 'Find Your Fit' this fall in Camus Recreation using this the Group Fitness Program Fall 2020 survey.


This week, get to know Alana Harris, a Campus Recreation group fitness instructor and Associate Director, Assessment, Wellness, and Adventure Recreation!

Q: What format(s) do you teach?
A: Yoga, Pilates, Spin, Strength, TRX, INSANITY, BARRE

Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: I taught my first class – spin, in 2002 and never looked back :) 

Q: How long have you been teaching at Campus Recreation?
A: I started teaching in 2013 as a grad student.

Q: Do you have another role at the University?
A: I am an Associate Director in Campus Recreation and Instructor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health.

Q: What motivated you to become a certified group fitness instructor?
A: I was motivated to help others find their love of movement.

Q: What is your fitness philosophy?
A: I honor and celebrate my body by moving it

Q: When you’re not regularly teaching, what are the other ways you like to stay active?
A: I have two children, Will and Charli, and we love local parks and playgrounds – so many great spots to explore in Central Illinois!

Q: When you’re not teaching your own classes, what type(s) of group fitness classes could we find you in?
A: I love to run and ride my bike – if I take a class I like to take yoga – I typically take things I need motivation, a community, and support to adhere to

Q: What is your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: I love avocado – on toast, in a smoothie, on a salad, on a spoon! Haha

Q: Do you have a favorite source of workouts, fitness blogger, or health-related resource that you’d recommend?
A: I’m always reading peer reviewed literature and doing research related to physical activity and exercise science so I don’t really follow anything in particular. If I’m listening to a podcast it’s usually focused on listening to behavior change related topics or plant based nutrition. I also love Brené Brown! I follow everything she does.

Q: What is your favorite way to practice mindfulness?
A: I’m working on my personal mindfulness practice and have found spending time outdoors and in my gardens allows me to keep my hands busy which facilitates the freeing or quieting of my mind. This is called, “Vipasana Meditation”, where I can improve my feelings of happiness through self-observation, ‘checking in’ with myself and building awareness and connection to the environment around me. I took a 10-day retreat in Vipasana in 2011 and it changed me for the better. I need to do more of this but I encourage others to find things that bring them happiness and feelings of connection to the environment.


As we look forward to the fall semester and begin to plan for our most successful year yet, take some time to familiarize yourself with the resources available to help you thrive as a student at Illinois. Some of your go-to student services will change or be delivered in a different way this year. Take the time to connect with academic advisors and professors to determine how best to navigate this new norm. Looking back, my academic advising appointments and office hours with TAs and Professors were some of my most helpful experiences.

Campus Recreation Well-Being Resource: Making the most out of office hours


In order to continue to serve the Campus Recreation community, our group fitness instructors are offering live virtual group fitness classes and meet-ups throughout the week. These virtual workouts will be streamed via Zoom (click here to learn more about using Zoom) and offer a great way to add some exercise, routine, and social interaction to your day!

View this week's virtual class schedule: July 13 – July 17


The Mayo Clinic recommends incorporating the following five elements into your regular exercise routine: aerobic activity, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and flexibility/stretching. The workout plan included below incorporates a variety of formats that will allow you to meet these goals. Just pick the combination of workouts that work for you!

View this week’s workout plan


A growing body of evidence suggests that listening to music while exercising can improve the quality of your workout. With the release of the Broadway musical ‘Hamilton’ on Disney Plus, we’ve been thinking about our favorite show tunes. Knock out your next workout Broadway-style with this musical theater-inspired playlist!

Broadway Workout Playlist


Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl

Anyone else been craving that Just BEE Acai food truck from campus? We sure are!!!

This tropical green smoothie bowl is perfect for giving yourself a bright boost until you're back on campus and can track that truck down! Mango and clementine add a tangy burst of flavor, and these nutrient-packed fruits are a great way of sneaking in some extra vitamin C. Anti-inflammatory ginger is great for digestion, and avocado lends this smoothie bowl a thick, creamy texture. 


For the smoothie bowl:
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) water
  • 1 heaping cup (145 g) frozen mango chunks
  • 1/3 cup (55 g) packed avocado
  • 1/2-inch piece (7 g) peeled ginger, or to taste
  • 1 cup (30 g) packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 small (75 g) clementine, peeled
  • 1 very large (30 g) pitted Medjool date
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea powder (optional)
For the toppings:
  • Diced fresh mango
  • Granola of choice
  • Raspberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries
  • Hemp hearts
  • Clementines, segmented and choppedd


  1. Add the water into a high-speed blender followed by the rest of the smoothie bowl ingredients. Blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and add toppings as desired. Serve and enjoy!