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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.


With temperatures rising by the day, now is a great time to incorporate more outdoor activities into our daily routines! Spending time in nature can boost your mood, reduce stress, and provide a great way to shake up your fitness routine. As you think about how to boost your time outdoors, here are a few ideas to inspire you:

  • Take a hike (or a walk). Take this opportunity to explore your neighborhood or find an open nature trail near you (keeping appropriate physical distance from others, of course). Squeezing in a quick walk around the block can be a great way to take a mini-break from work/studying when you find your concentration is waning. And if you have the opportunity to really get out into nature, try engaging in some forest-bathing.
  • Have a mini-picnic. No matter where we’re working from right now, it can be tempting to work through lunch. But there are many benefits to physically stepping away from work and taking a lunch break. Consider finding a bit of outdoor space if there’s any nearby and eating your lunch there.
  • Bring your workout outdoors. If you’re planning an equipment-free workout and have access to a safe space outdoors, why not try training outside? A change of scene might be just what you need to take your training up a notch, or just make that workout a bit more fun!

This week, get to know one of Campus Rec’s incredible instructors, Lei Shanbhag!

Q: What format(s) do you teach?
A: Zumba, Zumba Gold, Ballet for Beginner, Yoga. At this moment, and maybe for a VERY long time, I am leading Zoom Fitness Classes at the following times:

  • Mondays 9am Ballet/ 10am Gentle Yoga
  • Wednesdays 10am Zumba
  • Fridays 10am Zumba

Please feel free to join one of my classes using this link! (The password is Lei)

Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: Seven Years.

Q: How long have you been teaching at Campus Recreation?
A: Since the beginning of this Spring Semester.

Q: Do you have another role at the University (e.g. student, faculty, staff)? If so, what is it?
A: I am a group fitness instructor of several local gyms: Champaign Fitness Center, Savoy Recreation Center, Stephen Family YMCA, and Mettler Center, as well as OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute).

Q: What motivated you to become a certified group fitness instructor?
A: Fitness is one of the most important goals in my life, and what can be better of being a fitness instructor, where I can put in efforts whole-heartedly, not only for myself, but also for the participants.

Q: What is your fitness philosophy?
A: Fitness is not only for the physical body, but also for the mind and the spirit.

Q: When you’re not regularly teaching, what are the other ways you like to stay active?
A: I like to walk with my family or friends. Travel is another fun way to stay active.

Q: When you’re not teaching your own classes, what type(s) of group fitness class(es) could we find you in?
A: Yoga, Ballet, or Zumba

Q: What is your favorite post-workout meal/snack?
A: A bowl of ramen, though most unlikely available :)

Q: Do you have a favorite source of workouts, fitness blogger, or health-related podcast that you’d recommend?
A: Youtube!!

Q: What is your favorite way to practice mindfulness?
A: It is when I could remind myself to be at the present, in a Zen state: be it while washing dishes, cleaning floors, walking, eating, reading.


You've wrapped up exams and submitted final assignments, so now what? It's time to shift focus! Take a moment to sit down, create a quiet space, and reflect on the past academic year. What went well, what didn't go as planned, what was within your control, what are your hopes and dreams moving forward – and what are the steps you need to take to achieve them? Let's set some summer SMAART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals.

Campus Recreation Well-Being Resource: How to set goals – and actually achieve them


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 which will run through Summer I: May 18 - June 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 courtesy of Monica, a first-year DNS grad student and the Programming Assistant of GF, as well as a Campus Rec HIIT instructor. Monica says, “This playlist is one I put together for my classes or just doing solo HIIT sessions. It's upbeat enough to get your heart rate up and fun enough to get you excited to workout! I really like fast-paced music that makes me want to constantly stay moving and motivate me to keep going, even through the toughest parts of the workout that I really need to push through!”

Monica’s HIIT Me Up Playlist


Green Monster Smoothie

With final assignments and exams done, are you wanting to focus on your health and self-care? We've got a quick, easy and delicious smoothie for you to power up your well-being. Whip up a Green Monster and let's get this summer started!


  • 1 cup (250 mL) milk, almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup destemmed kale leaves or baby spinach, washed
  • 1 large ripe frozen banana, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds or ground flaxseed
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (optional)
  • 2-3 ice cubes


  1. Place ingredients in blender (for best blending results, it may be helpful to add all liquid, nut butter, and seeds to the blender first, followed by greens, followed by frozen banana).
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Enjoy!