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Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - Take 5 with Rachelle Winkler
By Katie Land, news editor

Composed of a diverse array of faculty, staff and administrators, the Oakland University community is unique, creative, and dedicated. As part of a continuing effort to explore the various roles and lives of our Golden Grizzlies, the News @ OU website presents a new interview series. We invite you to share these stories and “Take 5” with OU.


“Take 5 with Rachelle Winkler”


Rachelle Winkler is the coordinator of fitness programs and services at the Rec Center. Rachelle originally came to Oakland as an Exercise Science graduate student, and signed on to her current role in 2007. Rachelle holds the rare distinction of being an Oakland student, staff, and faculty member. She often teaches courses at Oakland and Oakland Community College, and is now pursuing her Master’s of Business Administration. At the Rec Center, Rachelle manages the fitness center’s staff, training, equipment and programming, and serves as a fitness resource to the university community. Rachelle grew up in Hawaii, and currently lives in Auburn Hills. 



1) Many people cite “losing weight” or “getting fit” as a New Year’s resolution. What are your tips for success?

  • Working out is only half the equation. The other half of the equation belongs to eating right.
  • Starving yourself or skipping meals does not equal weight loss. In fact it slows your metabolism and makes weight loss harder to achieve.
  • Weight training AND cardiovascular training are both important components for weight loss and getting fit.
  • Don’t overdo it. You should be in and out of the gym in about an hour. Focus while you are there and don’t over train.
  • Weight loss takes time. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs a week. Be smart and don’t rush things.

2) What is your household like? Family, pets, etc.

I met my husband Jeremy at Oakland, and we have been married for four years. We live in Auburn Hills with my stepson Jalen. We also have an English bulldog named “Sarge,” and an American pit bull terrier that we adopted, named “Face.” My in laws live in North Carolina and my family is in Hawaii, so for holidays we try to rotate one year here, one with Jeremy’s family and one with mine.

3) How do you determine what new fitness classes or programs to offer?

Usually I begin by looking at fitness trends. I try to attend 2-3 conferences a year to keep up on what is current in the industry, but before we can plan a new program, I have to find the space for it. With our large curriculum of fitness classes, such as zumba, yoga, kick boxing, it can be difficult to find space to try out a new program such as piyo, which is a combination of pilates and yoga.

4) What is your favorite part of your job?

I love the variety and being able to work with students. I really enjoy training students to give them the valuable skills and tools they will need for wherever they go after graduation. My job is very hands on and I am able to help shape students into great professionals who live healthy lifestyles. Another thing that I love about my job is being able to create programs and classes that help our members become healthier individuals. Fitness and wellness is my passion, and having a career that allows me to pursue my passion is the greatest thing ever!

5) What are your favorite music groups to work out to?

I always work out to music, and lately I have been into Rihanna and Flo Rida. I also love to listen to Hawaiian music such as Natural Vibrations, Jack Johnson, and Brother Iz.