Fitness group teaches healthy lifestyle for women


Junior Jessilyn Gibas workouts Monday at the State Room East in the Indiana Memorial Union. Members of "Changing Health, Attitudes, and Actions to Recreate Girls" (CHAARG) is a student organization to promote positive idea of fitness to female college students since 2012. The organization has 18 different university branches, including IU. The members gather and workout every week. Tae-Gyun Kim and Tae-Gyun Kim Buy Photos

IU women’s fitness group CHAARG is taking initiative this semester to spread awareness of overall fitness and health.

CHAARG, which stands for Changing Health Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls, is all about women “enjoying themselves and being inspirational,” junior CHAARG ambassador Evanthia Veranas said. Since the start of the CHAARG chapter at IU in spring 2014, more than 300 girls have been active in organization ?membership.

“What girls get out of it the most is that with their own body, they can push themselves and make their body feel good,” Veranas said.

Every Monday, workout events are hosted for CHAARG members at the Indiana Memorial Union, with two sessions available that allow members with conflicting schedules to attend.

A special session is also hosted Friday evenings, as well as a physical therapy and nutrition informal every semester. These sessions can range anywhere from yoga to cardio and Zumba to body weights. With only 55 slots open to participate, most sessions fill up quickly, ?Veranas said.

Sophomore CHAARG member and human resources management major Shay Britze regularly attends the sessions.

“I try to go as often as I can,” Britze said. “If I don’t go, I feel like a part of my week is missing.”

Also, every semester a CHAARG workout social is hosted where members share their fitness stories and enjoy a large group workout. Just before spring break, CHAARG offered its members a spring break fitness plan with workouts, foods to eat and recipes to try out.

“There are so many different types of workouts that we do that I never thought I would try,” Britze said.

The organization started at Ohio University and has hosted different university chapters around the country. The IU chapter was started by former ambassador and now member Alissa Becker, a junior majoring in human development and family ?studies.

“CHAARG is really a support system of girls who encourage one another to step out of their fitness comfort zones,” Becker said.

Although it is a fitness group, empowerment and community is also factor that CHAARG touches on, ?Veranas said.

“It’s twofold,” Veranas said. “One way is to create community; providing an outlet to a point where they never have to reach out.”

With CHAARG, no ?experience is required. CHAARG has a range of members from experts to ?beginners, Becker said.

“We have people who run marathons and people who have not ran longer than a mile in their life,” Becker said.

The organization stands by the motto, “We are all in this together,” she said.

With spring just beginning and summer coming soon, CHAARG is encouraging a healthy lifestyle as relaxing times are approaching, Veranas said.

“I love keeping girls active in the summer,” Veranas said. “We are really trying to get girls to stay active and are pushing for more awareness.”

CHAARG is sponsored by Nike, Aerie and Victoria’s Secret. CHAARG hopes to have at least 400 members next fall semester. Virtual membership is also offered.

For more information about CHAARG or its IU chapter, visit

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