Cardio exercise boosts your heart rate, burns fat and calories, and helps fight fatigue. So does coffee. Research has shown that enjoying a cup of joe before your workout can pack an even bigger punch.
That’s why Cardio & Katora is coming to the fitness center on Friday, Aug. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. Sponsored by Campus Recreation, Katora Café and Dining Services, the event gives the UMW community the opportunity to take the fitness center’s new fleet of state-of-the-art cardio machines for a spin – or a sprint – while sampling Katora’s healthy drinks and snacks. The popular Fredericksburg coffeehouse will soon open a new location across from the Hurley Convergence Center in the space previously occupied by Blackstone Coffee.
“We all agree that exercise and a healthy diet contribute to such a high quality of life, so we are teaming up to promote this message,” said Brittanie Naff, assistant director of Campus Recreation. “Change can be difficult, so we wanted to make an intentional effort to give Mary Washington employees and students the chance to try all the exciting new things coming to campus this fall.”
The fitness center is replacing its cardio machines with 45 pieces of equipment from Matrix Fitness. Six machines will include touch screens that allow users to browse Facebook, watch Netflix or take a virtual ride or run through Paris or other international locales. Machines like the Matrix S-Drive will simulate a sled-push or parachute-resistance run. The fitness center will also have a new, more patron-friendly layout.
One of the most important features, Naff said, is an asset management system that will allow staff to track machine status through a website. If a part breaks, the system guarantees a limited downtime and expedited repairs.
Naff said it was a natural fit to collaborate with the plant-based Katora Café, which plans to offer vegan and vegetarian menu items, organic coffees and teas, and fruit smoothies – as well as the Underground’s red pepper gouda soup, a campus favorite. Owners Christian and April Zammas are thrilled the Fredericksburg area has embraced their Caroline Street location, which caters to UMW students and local artists, musicians and activists by hosting art battles, poetry slams and music showcases.
“We are grateful and honored to be welcomed into the Eagle family and plan on providing the highest level of respect and service for students, faculty and staff,” said Christian Zammas, who will offer samples of gluten-free overnight oats and cold brew tea at the Cardio & Katora event.
UMW Dining will also have a selection of materials on Mindful dining options at the Top of the UC. Rose Benedict, dining marketing coordinator, said the UC offers a variety of healthy meals, many of which are “full-plate,” consisting of a protein, starch and vegetable, for 600 calories or less.
“All Mindful menu items are low in sodium, fat and calories, while being high in fiber, nutrition and taste,” said Benedict. The dishes are highlighted at multiple stations for lunch and dinner on “Mindful Mondays.”
The UMW community should expect to see more wellness-inspired collaborations on campus, Naff said. Students who visit the fitness center Aug. 26 through Sept. 30 will get a coupon for a free “brain booster” to add to smoothies purchased at Katora. A student event is also planned for midterms to share how healthy eating and exercise impact brain activity.
“I always tell people it’s never too late,” Naff said, of committing to a new fitness routine or healthier eating habits. “I believe there’s something out there for everyone, and you just have to find it. Sometimes that takes experimentation.”