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Face to Face Labs

Physical Activity and Wellness Labs


In this lab section, students will study Aikido, The Way of Harmony. Aikido is a modern Japanese martial art based on principles of non-resistance and intended as a way of peacefully resolving conflicts; protecting one's self and others.

Classes include meditation, breathing exercises, stretching and strengthening exercises. In addition, students will be introduced to Aikido stances, footwork, handwork, and partner practices, while connecting the study and practice of Aikido with their path toward optimum wellness across the lifespan.

This lab activity section does not require any prior martial arts experience, but students from other styles are welcome.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling based martial art. It utilizes leverage, timing, and takes advantage of mistakes made from an attacker.

Students will learn technique that will help escape dangerous holds, strikes and ultimately result in a dominant position used to control your opponent and lead to a submission (without hurting attacker). The course also teaches self-defense moves such as bear hug, headlock and other escapes that can keep students from being injured during an attack.

BJJ hits all components of fitness including cardiovascular, muscular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance. It also teaches your mind to think critically; leading to smart, efficient decisions even during stressful situations.

The lab is great for both male and female students, with no previous experience required.


Students in this lab section will learn foil fencing from the ground up with all equipment provided. All levels of fencers are welcome from beginners to advanced, as the instructor will accommodate your needs as best possible. Students will learn history, basic footwork and bladework, tactics, rules, refereeing, some epee and sabre, and participate in a 'friendly' tournament. Fencing will be related to outside and lifelong wellness in conjunction with the lecture content.

Light Saber Fencing

This lab teaches the basic moves appropriate to the seven styles of Jedi lightsaber. Students will then learn some basic stage combat so that they can prepare their own lightsaber duels and battles.

The class will also approach the different rules and styles of the two major federations of lightsaber fighting. All necessary equipment for in class instruction will be provided.

Self Defense

You will learn not only physical skills to keep yourself safe for a lifetime, but awareness skills that will help you avoid possible dangers in life. Through awareness and mindfulness practices, you will learn to recognize and defend yourself from potential threats.

he techniques you will learn are aikido-based, and are currently used by many police departments around the world due to not only their effectiveness, but due to the philosophical aspect of pacifism.

In this activity section, you will gain strength and flexibility in both the body and the mind through stretching and breathing exercises, and practice of the self-defense techniques.


This lab section is designed for those who are new to martial arts and excited to learn about the mental and physical aspects of taekwondo.  We will focus on some basic calisthenics, foundational movements in taekwondo (kicks, punches, blocks, etc.), core aspects of taekwondo as a martial art (tenants of the art, when to use it, etc.),  and learn a bit of Korean while we are at it!

Tai Chi

Tai Chi, an internal martial art, is a self-healing modality with roots in the Yang, Chen, and Wu styles. Today’s modern form is a Yang variation; tai chi focuses on breathwork, balance, stability and artful movements. This course will improve posture and circulation, enhance mental wellness, stimulate purposeful movements, as well as massage organs.

If you are an athlete—although that is not a requirement—this course will further enhance core strength and flexibility, improve reaction-time, as well as develop an overall sense of calm. Breathwork and flexibility and movements through martial applications are the essence of why Tai Chi has been around for over two thousand years. It’s aptly named: The Grand Ultimate.

This course will guide you through fundamental empowering movements though single-weighted postures. The gentle sequence of steps will enrich and improve your life on mental and physical levels. Through the practice of Tai Chi, the class addresses dimensions of well-being presented in WPA 101 lectures. Tai Chi, a lifelong learning tool, will present tools you can use to develop optimal health and wellness across your lifespan.

Yoga Fundamentals

This yoga lab will explore various practices of yoga, including physical and philosophical.  This class will move through a vinyasa practice as well as power, yin, and restorative yoga poses. During yoga, we will practice various breathing techniques and work to connect the mind and body. We will emphasis on all aspects of an asana practice including balance, flexibility, mobility, and relaxation. 

Gentle Yoga for Active Recovery

This lab is appropriate for students who are new or experienced with yoga.  It is ideal for those who are active in collegiate sports or consistent athletic activity. Class activities will focus on a yoga practice that is gentle and allows students to practice breathing techniques, stretching, and self-myofascial release to support active recovery from more intense physical activity. 


The objective of this lab section is to give students a more comprehensive experience than what is found in a studio based or gym based yoga class.

This class is appropriate for both beginner and advanced yoga students. Students will learn alignment principles in order to practice safely in class and in the community. 

The class will include breath work, physical postures, and meditation, while discussing how to incorporate the physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of wellness into a yoga practice.


This lab will focus on the body and mind discipline of Yoga which enables posture improvement, flexibility development and learned relaxation.

This lab will focus on learning an ancient posture series incorporating breath control and the body and mind relationship will be explored. The practice of meditation will be employed as an opportunity to experience stress management. Relaxation is Yoga practice's key.

This lab contains sequential stretches, postures and relaxation exercise, incorporated with self-reflection, breathing and meditation.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga is a passive practice using a handful of poses. Lingering in stillness allows the body to achieve a state of relaxation physically, emotionally, and mentally to promote calm, peace, and rest. Blankets, blocks, and bolsters are used as props to support the body as it rests. In addition, mindfulness is cultivated through breath work, journaling, and meditation. 

Yoga in the Outdoors

This lab meets off campus at times. Students are responsible for their own transportation. Yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning to unite.

In this lab students will work on uniting their body, mind, and spirit through the exploration of the Eight Limbs of Yoga. Students will learn the fundamentals of yoga postures, breath work, meditation, and basic philosophy while incorporating the elements of the outdoors.

In rain or shine, students will be expected to embrace the weather during their practice so they can learn how to live their yoga off the mat and into the world.


Group Exercise

Participation in group exercises and activities designed to improve muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular, and anaerobic capacities.

Students will learn group exercises and activities to incorporate the ones they enjoy into their lifetime wellness plan.

Specific examples of exercises and activities include yoga, resistance training, circuit training, step cardio, core training and more.

Holistic Fitness

Holistic Fitness seeks to integrate a broad scope of physical activities while focusing on whole person well-being. This class will engage in varied physical activities and intensities such as HITT, strength training, body weight exercises, cardio, and other fitness activities while incorporating mindful practices.

Functional Fitness Training

Functional Training involves participation in a variety of activities to improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. Students will be introduced to all aspects of the Student Recreation Center’s Fitness Center, including the Harris Teeter Functional Training Area. Students will learn how to utilize TRX cables, kettlebells, and various other implements in hope that they can then incorporate those exercises into their own personal physical activity. Instruction will also be given on circuit training, interval training, bodyweight and resistance exercise, and cardiovascular exercise.

Lifetime Fitness

This lab section is designed to give you flexibility in developing and participating in an individualized physical activity program.

Students will be introduced to a variety of lifetime activities that are safe, well-balanced, and can improve fitness (i.e., cardiovascular training, resistance and free-weight training, aerobic training, walking, or jogging).

Students in this lab section will explore new and safe lifetime-based physical activities in order to find those they enjoy for the development of wellness across the lifespan.

Fitness Walking

This section introduces fitness through walking. It is designed to introduce students to walking as a lifetime activity and to progressively develop cardiovascular endurance by walking.

Emphasis is placed on developing correct, safe and effective walking techniques, stretching, conditioning exercises, proper clothing, fluid needs, and injury prevention.

Students will monitor and demonstrate improvement in individual fitness walking performance.

Weight Training

Includes instruction on basic weight training techniques, muscle groups, safety considerations, and an introduction to a variety of different types of lifts and exercises to develop the resistance component of their balanced physical activity program.

Total Body Conditioning

Total Body Conditioning involves participation in a variety of activities to improve the health-related components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

Students will be introduced to activities that can be performed at the gym, outside, and/or at home, depending upon the setting in which they most enjoy being physically active.

Boot Camp

This group military-style and functional training class is designed to build cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility through slow running, fast sprinting, body-weight training, jump roping, balance work, partner drills, relay races, obstacle courses, and of course, teamwork exercises.

Core, Glutes, Abs

This lab will focus on strengthening the body's core muscles, lower back, abdominals, hips, and gluteus. The body's core muscles are the foundation for all other movements of the body.

Through use of various techniques, the focus will be to develop and strengthen the body's trunk and pelvis area where the center of gravity is located.

Benefits include improved posture, increased flexibility and range of motion, increased strength and protection of the spine, more stable center of gravity and controlled movement. This class is designed for all fitness levels.


Students in this lab section will have the opportunity to explore a variety of cardiovascular, resistance, and flexibility activities to promote enjoyment, self-efficacy, confidence, and motivation.

In addition, this section will focus on the development of self-management skills to facilitate a lifetime of wellness (i.e., self-assessment, self-monitoring, goal setting, self-planning, coping skills, consumer skills, and time management).


This lab focuses on a long standing practice that strengthens the core, improves posture, increases muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility. Pilates emphasizes body alignment, breathing, and improving coordination and balance.  


Cardio Kickboxing

Mobility Training

Have you ever watched a gymnast and wondered how they were able to achieve such feats of flexibility and strength? Ever think about how a dancer moves through space with such precision and control? Both disciplines utilize mobility to balance their body’s strength and flexibility.

Increasing the body’s overall active range of motion (i.e. mobility) will be the primary focus of the Mobility Training lab. Mobility is fundamental to sports involving both repetitive and non-linear movements (ex. Soccer, football, lacrosse, swimming, running, baseball etc.).

Developing mobility may lead to greater performance and injury prevention in sport and daily life. The Mobility Training lab will utilize the relevant exercises from a broad range of disciplines such as gymnastics, Pilates, yoga, and martial arts to achieve both an understanding and greater ability to increase mobility.

Hybrid Athlete

(Concurrent Endurance/Resistance Training)

This lab is intended for students with an intermediate to advanced level of fitness.

The hybrid athlete encompasses skill development in the following disciplines: END-Strength (hybrid endurance and strength), Endurance/Triathlon/Ultra racing, Military – Mission Specific and Selection Course preparation, OCR (Obstacle Course Racing), Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, Hypertrophy, Sport Specific, Off Season / GPP (General Physical Preparedness).

The lab will be individualized to the student’s desired goals and abilities. At the conclusion of the lab, students will have developed the skills (though not necessarily the required fitness/strength) to compete in races and competitions across all of the above mentioned disciplines.

Carolina Shag

This course will focus on the official dance of the Carolinas, the Carolina Shag.

The Shag is a type of swing dance that developed during the 1930's and 40's in North Myrtle Beach, SC and Carolina Beach, NC. It involves nimble footwork and is traditionally danced to upbeat rhythm and blues (known as beach music) and, more recently other genres of music as well.

Students will learn the history of the dance, basic patterns, step variations, lead and follow techniques, musicality, and dance etiquette. The course is designed to improve physical health, mental health, and communication skills while learning a local tradition.

It's a fun and exciting way to express yourself while improving cardiovascular endurance. No prior dance experience necessary.


Dance for Fitness

Global Dance 

This class utilizes various dance styles from across the globe (such as Salsa, Bollywood, etc) to improve students’ cardiovascular endurance.

Through a variety of movement and sequences done individually, students will work their legs, arms and core, while getting their groove on. No prior dance experience is necessary.

West Coast Swing

This course will focus on the world's most popular couples' dance, West Coast Swing. It is a true usable dance anywhere you go.

Students will learn the core patterns of the dance and also the connections necessary to establish a great partnership on the dance floor and with the music.

Additionally, students will learn to creatively use movement to carry on a "conversation" with their partner. The course is designed to improve physical health, mental health, and communication skills while learning social dance skills that are applicable to all life circumstances.

It's a fun and exciting way to express yourself while improving cardiovascular endurance. No prior dance experience necessary.



This lab section is for students who are non-swimmers and/or uncomfortable swimmers who need to learn how to feel comfortable and safe in an aquatic environment.

The class will entail activities that will teach the student basic swimming skills such as floating front/back, treading water, freestyle and backstroke swimming skills and safety in and around the aquatic environment.


For experienced swimmers.

This lab is for students who have a basic knowledge and swimming skills to perform freestyle/backstroke. This course is design improve your basic skills in freestyle and backstroke as well as teach and improve your skills in breaststroke, sidestroke and butterfly.

It will also cover some advanced treading water and survival skills, and safety issues in and around the aquatic environment.


Being an able swimmer is required for this class.

This lab is based on all-around well-rounded physical activity. Participants will perform various types of exercises immersed in the swimming pool.

Classes throughout the semester will take place in the deep or shallow water of the pool. Students will work with body weight, water resistance, foam weights, aqua belts, kick boards, and other swim equipment to create an aerobic workout.

Students will also learn different forms of physical activity to promote fitness in the water including resistance training, yoga, barre, endurance training, rhythm sequencing, and more.

By the end of the semester, students will have a creative and diverse selection of water aerobics exercises that they can use throughout their lifetime.

Half Marathon

Ability to run 3 miles continuously required.

Humans are considered among the best distance runners among all running mammals.

A half marathon is a running event covering 13.1 miles and is one the most popular disciplines of endurance sports.

In this lab, students will develop fitness and techniques required to complete the half marathon. Emphasis will be placed on running form, the aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular system as they relate to endurance, and the proper nutrition required to complete a long distance event.

At the conclusion of the semester, students will have developed the appropriate fitness to complete a half marathon race.


Basic swim ability required.

This lab is intended for students with an intermediate to advanced level of fitness. Students will develop skills related to the three disciplines of a triathlon race: swimming, cycling, and running.

All standard triathlon race distances will be covered in the course (Sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman, Ironman distances). In addition, the concepts of training periodization, weight training, mobility/flexibility, and nutrition as they relate to triathlon will be explored.

At the conclusion of the semester, students will have developed the appropriate fitness level and knowledge to complete a sprint distance triathlon.

It is recommended that students registering for this section have access to a bicycle.

Couch to 5K

This lab is intended for beginners who wish to get into running and perhaps complete a 5k run.

After a gradual progression over the course of the semester, students should be able to finish a 5k run (3.1 miles) or at least run for 30min without stopping.

The course will take you from walking to running in just 16 weeks. Proper stretching and general strength training will also be included to aid in your journey toward becoming a runner for life.

Minimum beginning expectations are that you are able to walk for 20min without stopping and you have a desire and ability to begin running. Your progression will take you from walking 20min in week 1 to running nonstop for 30min by the end of the semester.

Fitness Walking

This section introduces fitness through walking. It is designed to introduce students to walking as a lifetime activity and to progressively develop cardiovascular endurance by walking.

Emphasis is placed on developing correct, safe and effective walking techniques, stretching, conditioning exercises, proper clothing, fluid needs, and injury prevention.

Students will monitor and demonstrate improvement in individual fitness walking performance.

Resistance for Endurance

Lifetime Sports

This lab engages students in a variety of sports that can be enjoyed across the lifespan. Students will rotate through different sports over the course of the semester to give an opportunity to learn and practice the skills and rules of engagement. Sports that students may engage in over the course of the semester include (but not limited to): ultimate frisbee, racquet sports, field sports, and court sports. 

Beginning Tennis and Conditioning

This class will focus on learning and refining basic skills in tennis such as forehand and backhand groundstrokes, volleys and service technique through drills and games. Conditioning exercises include agility, strength and endurance to enhance skills and match play.  Students will learn scoring, court positioning and strategy for both singles and doubles matches so they are equipped to enjoy play beyond the WPAL lab.  

Flag Football/Pickleball

This lab will provide students with a comprehensive experience playing and learning about flag football and pickleball. Students will learn sport rules, sport skills related to safely playing the games, and the benefits of recreational sports participation.

The course format will include skill practice, simulated competitive games, and fun! No experience in either sport is required and we will place on emphasis on fun and participation in both sports. All equipment required to play will be provided during the course.

You will need to be prepared to actively engage during the course including physical movement and team communication in both indoor and outdoor class settings. We will spend an equal amount of time during the semester on each sport.

Competitive Sports

This course focuses on team sport skills specifically related to group sport activities. Students will rotate through different sports over the course of the semester to give an opportunity to learn and practice the skills and rules of engagement.

There will be a focus on skill development, practicing the learned skills, and implementing the skills in a competitive gameplay environment. Specific sport experiences include (but are not limited to) basketball, soccer, team handball, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball will be covered.

Coastal Activities

Participation in activities that are somewhat unique to our coastal environment, and will improve the health-related components of fitness: cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

Students will be introduced to a variety of physical activities that include the water, as well as trail and beach running, with an emphasis on outdoor activities.

Study Abroad

Students can complete their lab portion abroad in a one-two week time frame over winter break or summer break. Adventure programs to Central America and Mexico are physically and mentally demanding and activities range from hiking, camping, paddle boarding, surfing, biking, and much more. Blue Zone programs to longevity hot spots in Greece and Costa Rica are also available. We immerse ourselves in the culture and lifestyle. Activities can range from hiking, swimming, cooking class, surfing, yoga, and much more. 

There is an application and additional fees associated with these programs. Contact the Office of International Programs for more information. 


Gardening isn’t just learning about plants, it can be a full body exercise and is a great way to incorporate wellness, fitness and nutrition into your lifestyle. This lab will provide hands on experience in the various facets involved in gardening from planting to compost production. Participants will learn more about how these activities relate to whole person wellness and a physically active lifestyle.


This course is geared towards students with individual needs within their physical activity as a result of specialized physical activity training, university-registered accommodation needs, or other circumstances.

Students will create and engage in their own physical activity plan under the guidance of the instructor. The plan will be for approximately 12 weeks during the semester and based on the student’s fitness/physical activity/performance goals.

When applicable, students will identify impacting conditions that may affect workout/fitness goals and create options to mitigate or address those impacts. Students will be introduced to and increase confidence using a fitness facility and the equipment and resources within.

Students interested must contact the instructor and provide justification for admittance to the course.

Physical Activity and Wellness for Competitive Athletes

Physical Activity and Wellness for Competitive Athletes is for students who regularly engage in high volumes of exercise and training for means of improving performance for athletic competition at the local, regional, or national level (ex: triathletes, gymnasts, collegiate athletes, body builders).  Athletes will practice mindfulness, explore wellness topics relevant to identity, teams and competition, and enjoy leisure based physical activities to improve and support whole person wellness and physical activity during and after competitive training for performance.  

Contact Us

Amy Olsen, Program Coordinator