CHAARG motivates college women to work out

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A fitness group dedicated to getting college girls off the elliptical and into fun workouts and healthy choices just opened a chapter at DePaul University.

CHAARG(pronounced like “charge”), which stands for Changing Health, Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls, is a sorority-like fitness group that aims to put girls together to support and empower each other as they get fit. Chapters are open at 14 U.S. universities, with plans to open 6 more by next year, according to Carina Coss, a sophomore and head of the DePaul chapter.

“It is a community of girls inspiring each other to live a healthier lifestyle,” said Coss.

Girls in college can be at a difficult point in their lives where body image issues and pressure can damage self-esteem, a fact CHAARG understands and hopes to combat.

“We really do want to show girls that they are enough,” Coss said.

The support system girls find with CHAARG is designed to improve fitness as well as confidence, Coss said.

To join, members pay $45 a semester, which covers a weekly workout and events. Instructors from gyms around the city come to DePaul’s campus to teach a group fitness class to the CHAARGers, and then each member is part of a small group that is expected to get together for a health or fitness-related activity. There’s no application process.

For the rest of the week, CHAARG girls can get involved with a fitness plan and workout on their own or with other members. A six-week fall fitness plan has workouts prescribed for five days of the week, and members can post on a Facebook group to find workout buddies.

For schools where a chapter isn’t open yet, there is a virtual one with over 100 members.

Social media is a huge part of the CHAARG community, so check out their Twitter account and Instagram to learn more.

“Definitely the community is what keeps me going,” Coss said. “I can push myself more.”

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