Exercising Your Right to Workout

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By James Levin

The Eppley Recreation Center (ERC) has everything a fitness junkie could ever want in the world.  The nearly $40 million dollar facility boasts over 230,000 square feet of space, every inch of which is filled with the right tools to keep you in good shape.

For the weight trainers, there are countless machines and free weights.  For those who want to keep their heart healthy, there is a three-lane track suspended above the weight room.  If you don’t like running, there are plenty of stationary bikes, elliptical or stair machines that might be more suitable.  You can even keep your heart healthy without breaking a sweat by taking advantage of the 50-meter swimming pool.

Looking for some less traditional exercise? Maybe play some basketball in one of the gymnasiums, learn some boxing or martial arts in the mat room or just play a simple game of ping-pong. Whatever form of fitness you prefer, the ERC is the place to go.

Unfortunately, as every college kid knows, it is not always easy to fit a trip to the gym into a busy schedule.  When schoolwork becomes overwhelming, it’s easy to make excuses to forego the gym.

For some people the gym just isn’t the place to be.  The gym doesn’t provide the perfect workout environment for everyone as sophomore animal science major Anna Koziarski explained.

“It’s not so much that it’s hard to go to the gym, it’s just not the environment that really motivates me,” said Koziarski.  “I like living up to my own standards and not comparing myself to what someone else is doing.”

But health is important!  Working out a few times a week can increase your energy, and has even been linked to improved academic performance. That’s right, a healthier body can mean better grades.

So how do you balance that overbooked schedule with the crucial time it takes to stay healthy?  You might not be frequenting the gym three days a week but there are plenty of other ways to stay active.

To get in a good workout all you really need is your body and a can-do attitude.  A lot of staying healthy is in how you eat, said sophomore journalism major Kaylin Bugos, a certified Zumba instructor.  According to Bugos working out doesn’t always have to feel like work.

“Zumba is a great workout because it’s really intense cardio but it’s also a fun dance party,” she said.  “The entire point of Zumba is you’re supposed to think of it as a dance party and not ‘Oh gosh I have to work out.’  It’s also good because it incorporates a lot of different muscle groups.”

Although as a certified instructor, Bugos could teach Zumba classes at the gym, she chooses not to because she said the gym doesn’t strike her as a fun place to work out.

“I’ve discovered that for me the gym makes me hate working out,” said Bugos. “I grew up dancing and that’s how I always worked out growing up. So I always equated working out with fun even though it’s hard.”

For others, when time is an issue, a simple run can be the least time consuming way to stay fit. Nick Valdez, a sophomore engineering major who lives on south campus, said that the gym is too far away to go to all the time.

“I take a run at Cole Field House because it’s close to where I live and it takes less time than going to the gym, around half the time,” said Valdez.

At Cole field house, which is conveniently located for south campus residents, students can run around the track or run up and down the stairs, another favorite form of exercise for Valdez. Often the building will be less crowded than the track at the ERC, too.  The building also boasts a cycling studio where students can take group spinning classes.

Valdez said that even though he tries to get to the gym about twice a week, it doesn’t take much to start working out and getting in shape.

“Just go online, find a workout plan, stick to it. There are a lot of workout plans online that tell you what to do and it’s simple if you just follow it,” said Valdez.  “If you don’t have a gym close by, buy a pull up bar and find a place to run.”


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