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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.


Q: What formats do you teach?
A: HIIT and Barre

Q: How long have you been teaching? 
A: 5 years!

Q: How long have you been teaching at Campus Recreation?
A: 2 years!

Q: Do you have another role at the University? If so, what is it?
A: I am a graduate research assistant finishing my master’s degree in Civil Engineering!

Q: What motivated you to become a certified group fitness instructor?
A: I was a competitive gymnast for 15 years and fitness goes hand in hand with this sport. It is both a team and individual sport. I like to work out hard to stay in shape and I like to share my enthusiasm and knowledge to help others reach their goals. I started teaching as a freshmen at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Q: What is your fitness philosophy?
A: Learning the most current trends, techniques and training help make me an experienced, knowledgeable trainer. I enjoy meeting people from different backgrounds and helping them find an active, healthy lifestyle. I want to emphasize a personalized experience within a team setting. Creating strong relationships with your participants and knowing them by name makes everyone excited to go to the gym every single day. It is much easier to stay motivated this way and helps keeps you healthier not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. I look forward to connecting with you (you can find me on Instagram, @carrie_leibensperger if you’d like to connect virtually)!

Q: When you’re not regularly teaching, what are the other ways you like to stay active?
A: I LOVE playing pickleball, walking dogs at the Champaign Humane Society as a volunteer, and any outdoor cycling, hiking, and exploring!

Q: When you’re not teaching your own classes, what type(s) of group fitness class(es) could we find you in?
A: Spin, Barre, HIIT, Bodypump, even Zumba! I like to mix it up, so I never get bored!

Q: What is your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: Mocha (Java Jolt) protein shake, apple with peanut butter, and ice cream on occasion. You can never have too much ice cream in my opinion :) 

Q: Do you have a favorite source of workouts, fitness blogger, or health-related podcast that you’d recommend?
A: My gym from home (Pittsburgh North Fitness) has an amazing group of coaches that inspires me with new workouts! Check out their Instagram, @pittsburghnorthfitness – they are constantly posting fitness advice, workout ideas, and healthy recipes!

Q: What is your favorite way to practice mindfulness?
A: Getting fresh air—anything to clear my mind outside is always a good day.


Self-care is nothing new. In fact, it’s a concept said to have been kicking around since Ancient Greece—used, and indeed misused, in countless ways ever since. The meaning of the word is still, like all language, in flux. It means different things to different people and given what's happening in the world in 2020 it's important for all of us to find ways to explore and find support for our personal health and well-being.

This summer, Illinois researchers have partnered with University of Illinois Extension and the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute to bring you a free weekly webinar series focused on evidence-based strategies for improving your health & self-care routines. Choose programs led by Illinois researchers based on your interests and needs. Learn more about the impetus for this series and register here.


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: June 8 - 12


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. This week’s playlist comes from Campus Rec’s Les Mills instructors. Inspired by latest BODYATTACK, BODYCOMBAT, and BODYPUMP releases which instructors received over the weekend, this playlist will give you a taste of the latest Les Mills music and is sure to add fuel for your next strength or cardio workout!

 Les Mills 2020 Q2 Favorites Playlist


Building a first-class charcuterie board

A charcuterie board is perfect for picnics and for those who want a delicious spread of food with less time spent indoors. From the French chair (“flesh”) and cuit (“cooked”), and pronounced “shar-koo-tuh-ree,” charcuterie describes a wide range of cured meats. In France, the word also describes the shop that sells them. Far more than “a bunch of meat on a plate”, charcuterie is a culinary choose-your-own-adventure story. Imagine the savory goodness that is a charcuterie board: an array of cured meats, tangy pickles, sweet jams, cheese, fresh fruit, and your own personal culinary wild cards. Learn more about building the ultimate charcuterie board here.

Components to consider adding to your next charcuterie board

  • Something pre-sliced. Think thinly sliced cured meats like prosciutto, mortadella, speck. These will add some savory, salty goodness to your board.
  • Something you slice. Hard salamis and sliceable cheeses can contribute elements of chew and texture, and create an interactive experience for you and your guests.
  • Something spreadable. Spreadable elements like pâtés (made from meat or vegetables) add extra textural variety to your charcuterie experience.
  • Accent items. These elements allow you to combine different sensations, aromas, and flavors, and could include jams or preserves, soft cheeses, pickles, bread or crackers, or dried fruits.
  • Something to drink. Opt for beverages that can cut through the saltiness and fat content of many of your charcuterie board elements. These could include beer (saisons, wild ales, and porters work well), wine (try a Pinot Noir or a sparkling wine), or non-alcoholic options (sparkling or mineral water with a squeeze of lemon or line provides a refreshing option).

How to assemble your charcuterie board:

  1. Arrange your components of choice on a wooden board, slate platter, or plate of choice.
  2. Enjoy!


Create and submit your own trick shot video for your chance to win our grand prize! Video submissions will be accepted June 1st – 30th. You can submit your video HERE. Campus Rec Professional & Intramural Staff will choose the top 32 videos to be entered into our final bracket. During the month of July, the top videos will go head-to-head in a vote on Illinois Campus Recreation’s Instagram Story. The winner of each match up will advance to the next round for a chance to win! A grand prize winner will be crowned on July 31st!

Creativity is key! Use your imagination… Nothing is off limits? Want to throw a basketball over the house? No problem. Kicking a pencil into a soda can? Yep, that works too. Rolling a grape down a slide into your little brother’s mouth? Definitely counts. Remember, the most votes each round will advance so make a shot for the people!

Be sure to follow the guidelines below when creating your video. Any video submission without the following will be omitted.


  1. All current ARC members (current students and paying faculty/staff) are eligible for this competition.
  2. Be safe! Practice social distancing to protect yourself and others. Here are the CDC Guidelines on how to keep yourself safe from COVID-19.
  3. Before your shot, you must say “Go Illini!” Any submission without the shooter saying this key phrase will not qualify.
  4. Follow Illinois Campus Recreation on Instagram HERE. We’ll tag you when your video is matched up against another!
  5. The video must be less than 30 seconds long and recorded vertically. Please do not record with your phone sideways, horizontal, or “hamburger” style.


If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on our social media or email us at intramurals@illinois.edu.