The University of Miami is approaching the one-year mark of its partnership with Caravan Wellness.
The partnership offers the fitness app free of charge to students, faculty and staff.
In 2020, Miami Recreation (the Rec) decided it needed to provide COVID-friendly fitness resources to Miami affiliates who still weren’t comfortable exercising in person.
According to Mike Arnos, Senior Director of Academic Programs and Partnerships at Rec, he and his fellow Rec leaders initially considered creating virtual fitness classes themselves.
âFor us, creating it in-house seemed like something more than what we thought we wanted to do to compete with the industry that already exists,â said Arnos. “And, we found this trailer (app) to be a bit unique.”
Arnos said Caravan is developing a Miami-exclusive program each month designed to reduce daily stress and improve mental and physical health. With a variety of virtual meditation, yoga and fitness classes, Caravan offers a holistic approach to wellness.
âFor me, it goes really well to complement someone who comes to Rec to do 20 minutes in person on a treadmill or 45 minutes of strength training,â said Arnos.
According to Arnos, around 700 Miami users downloaded the app after the partnership launched in December 2020. This fall, he said, the number of registrations fell to around 500.
Arnos attributes the decline in Caravan users to an increase in the number of Miami students, faculty and staff returning to Rec for in-person fitness.
âWe want people to be here, we want them to connect with other people who also love basketball or who also love treadmills,â said Arnos. âIt can really bridge the gap between genders, races, ages and others. You don’t get that in a video. You don’t get that human connection – what I call this kind of authentically Miami, authentically Oxford type of connection. “
However, Arnos also notes that Caravan brings a unique approach to wellness that is new to Miami.
âIf you’re a person who likes to work out at two in the morning, you have the option of just viewing the video,â Arnos said. âIf it’s raining, raining, snowing, or there’s a hurricane outside, you can still exercise. So I think the videos really help with accessibility.
Although the Miami-Caravan Wellness partnership started as a COVID-19 initiative, Arnos said the Rec has no plans to end work with the app anytime soon.
âDo I think this will change the way Miami is exercised and well-being in the future? No, âArnos said. âBut I think this is in addition to the programs we already have. (Caravan) fits very well with our vision and our philosophy.
Click here to join, or download the Caravan application on the App Store Where google play.