By Amanda Hayes
With midterms approaching, the fitness department has opportunities for students to work off their stress, including a free weights series.
After the New Year’s resolution surge of gym attendance, the next peak comes at this time of the semester, said Clint Patterson, coordinator of fitness at the McLane Student Life Center. Whether students are preparing for a laborious mission trip or want that beach body, Patterson recommends they get active.
“Everyone is motivated differently,” Patterson said. “And there are a lot of supportive venues on campus to accomplish these goals.”
The Free Weights Series is an open session for students that meets in the Fitness Center of the SLC. The next meeting at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, will focus on leg strengthening.
The fitness staff also hosts Super Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. each week, in which instructors lead different activities, including cycling and yoga. This takes place in a variety of locations depending on the week’s physical activity. The event is free for students, Patterson said, and want to get up early on the weekend to workout.
Although this is a busy time of the semester, Van Davis, assistant director for fitness, said this should not be an excuse to eliminate exercising all together.
“The busier you are, the more important it is stop and ask yourself: ‘Am I taking care of my body?’” Davis said.
Exercise relieves stress, improves sleep and provides energy that helps students suceeded in classes and other activities, Davis said.
According to a study by the American College Health Association, more than half of college students have experienced overwhelming anxiety in the past year that can inhibit their academic success.
Davis also said Group X programs are beneficial for students to workout different muscles. Group X includes Bear Cycle and Group Exercise, consisting of about 50 classes each week including zumba, boxing/conditioning, hip hop, pilates and yoga.
Participating in a variety of classes balancing out the muscles, Davis said, such as strengthening thigh muscles in cycling and then stretching them out in yoga.
Davis said this program also provides positive instructors, motivating music, and a social setting. These instructors keep students accountable, Davis said, and encourage students to come back and try new classes.
“The hardest part is showing up,” said Davis. “Once you’re there, it’s easy. The instructors do all the work for you.”
The membership fee for the Group X program is $50 each semester, and $30 for the summer. This fee includes access to all Bearobics and Bear Cycle classes, as well as exclusive access 7-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays in Russell Gym Weight Training Area.
Davis encourages students to try out their first class for free, and see that the benefits outweigh the time and money.
“Exercise can look a lot of different ways,” Patterson said. “We aim to be as accommodating as possible with the environment, equipment and programs.”