CHAARG provides a training community for college women

College students walking through Tupper at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday might be surprised to see a fitness group meeting, but for OU CHAARG members, it’s a common occurrence. CHAARG is a national organization founded in 2012 at Ohio State University to unite women and make sports fun. CHAARG stands for Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreation Girls.

The organization’s national website hosts a blog that regularly posts stories about fitness tips, mental health, recipes, and college advice, mostly written by current members. The organization also has a podcast on similar wellness and fitness topics.

“It’s like an empowering organization,” said CHAARG Ambassador Lydia Gehr, a senior studying dance and global studies. “Be a little bit comfortable in the gym and not be intimidated… (and) just find a healthy and happy lifestyle.”

Workouts vary from week to week, but members can expect everything from cardio dancing to self-defense. CHAARG also organizes various socials for members to interact with each other. Memberships are just under $50 per semester, but students can join at any time. Memberships must be purchased before attending events and can be done through their website.

“My favorite workout is called pound,” says event coordinator Lauren Johnson, a sophomore studying applied nutrition. “It is actually a training with sticks. You’re on the ground a lot and you hit the ground with the sticks, and it puts you to work, but it’s so worth it in the end.”

The event coordinators get together to send emails to fitness professionals in surrounding areas, such as Columbus and Cincinnati, to come to a Tuesday meeting to have a workout session. Socials are non-workout gatherings that can help members take their mind off stress and bond with the group.

“They’re usually about an hour and a half and it’s kind of like people getting together and hanging out and getting to know each other and not sweating,” Gehr said.

When Gehr entered her first year, there were over 100 members, but due to COVID-19, membership has shrunk to about 50.

Anna Richcreek, a sophomore studying acting, • joined the group because she wanted to feel comfortable while exercising.

“I always feel welcome here and it’s a completely non-judgmental zone,” said Richcreek. “I just feel better at the end of it, no matter what we do.”

Her original motivations had to do with how she perceived her body, and she was immediately drawn to the mission of the organization as a whole to uplift and empower women.

“I really wanted to improve the way I look at my body and feel in my body,” she said. “I’ve heard that CHAARG is about uplifting and empowering women, and in the gym I don’t always feel comfortable just being myself, so I love coming here and just getting to myself physically and mentally. to work.”


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CHAARG provides a training community for college women

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