New club helps women find a healthy and holistic lifestyle


Alexis Myszka/Iowa State Daily

The CHAARG executive team for the Iowa State Chapter. Left to right: Ryush Jumali, Paige Perkins, Kailey Elliot, Serena Martin, Jill O’Brien and Moira Green.

Alexis Myszka

Changing Health Attitudes and Actions to Recreate Girls (CHAARG), is an organization on a mission to motivate college girls to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle by helping them find their fit.

This year, Iowa State has joined over 60 other universities in having a CHAARG chapter on campus.

The Iowa State chapter was founded by ambassador Paige Perkins, a senior in kinesiology and health with a passion for health and wellness.

Perkins’ goal is to “create a community of girls here at ISU that encourage each other to become the best versions of themselves,” according to her biography on the CHAARG homepage.

CHAARG believes that working out should be fun, with one of their main missions being to, “liberate girls from the elliptical,” according to

As a member of CHAARG, girls are offered weekly workouts as well as small group socials. The workouts change weekly and can be held at local gyms or Iowa State’s recreational centers. Small group meetings can be anything from going out for coffee or grabbing a quick bite.

Members are encouraged to create a separate CHAARG instagram account where they can document their journey and connect with thousands of girls from around the country in the CHAARG community.

Perkins, along with her other six executive members, are combining their individual passions for fitness and community to make CHAARG into a powerful and positive organization on Iowa State’s campus.

Their goal is to recruit 175 members for this spring 2019 semester. They have been braving the cold of the free speech zone, and holding informational sessions in order to spread the word and reach that goal.

“We are a community of women who are passionate about fitness and living a holistically healthy life, but the community that we are building is so much more than fitness,” said Jill O’Brien, a senior in journalism and mass communication and executive CHAARG member.

The main message Perkins pushed at the informational session is that CHAARG is about more than just helping girls find their way to a healthy and active lifestyle, it is about community and building relationships to help with all of the struggles that college life can bring.

“I joined CHAARG because I hadn’t found a community of girls until CHAARG came here, I’ve really been looking for that community aspect so that was really exciting for me to have a group of girls with the same kinds of values and goals,” said Serena Martin, a senior in graphic design and executive member. 

The goal of Iowa State’s CHAARG chapter is to help girls learn how to live a happy, holistic and healthy lifestyle but also to have a supportive community at college. 

“Coming to college is terrifying and sometimes we lose sight of what is important to us and obviously the most important thing to us is us, ourselves, so learning how to take care of ourselves through some of the rougher times of our lives, some big changing times is super important,” Perkins said. 

CHAARG will be hosting another informational session  at 8 p.m. Jan. 24 followed by a sample workout.

“I have a lot of passion for [CHAARG] and I really feel like Iowa State is somewhere that deserves to have it and should have it and it’s something that I can leave behind and continue to foster growth and create happy and healthy lifestyles for girls for years to come,” Perkins said.