New Year’s health resolutions

Drew Schertzer

Returning to school after winter break always seems to be a difficult transition for students. Still, the hardest part might not be readjusting to a full class schedule or heavy work load. Instead, many students also struggle with maintaining a healthy lifestyle, particularly exercising, during the winter break.

For some Grand Valley State University students, like Noah Vaitkevicius, the key to getting out of this rut is making a New Year’s resolution.

“I really want to improve, but living up north makes it really difficult to work out with no gyms by me,” Vaitkevicius said.

His answer was to make a New Year’s resolution and strive to fulfill certain goals, included eating better foods, going to the gym four times a week and running a mile each day.

For other students like Bailey Williams, a sophomore at GVSU, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle was to follow an exercise plan consistently.

“It’s easy to start one thing, but to stick to that thing every week gets tougher as classes get harder,” Williams said. She had tried a variety of events from rock climbing to daily runs, but nothing stuck.

“With a new year, I’m looking to finally find what works best for me,” Williams said.

Amy Campbell, the associate director of Campus Recreation, said the GVSU Recreation Center helps students find what works best for them.

“Exercise can improve moods in the winter season,” Campbell said. “With a place to be active, people can start the new year with new healthy habits.”

She explained that GVSU’s Recreation Center has programs available for students, including group exercise classes, yoga, Zumba and spinning. Students can purchase a $30 pass to gain access to classes like these and up to 50 drop-in classes. The pass is a one-time charge and is good for all semesters. 

Campbell said more than 5,000 participants typically are involved in group exercise.

“People set themselves up for success after a month of exercise and need to continue that, not just a few weeks,” Campbell said. She suggested beginners start at around 10-15 minutes of low-intensity training and work up from there. A 10 percent increase each week is the key to success, Campbell said.

One program Campbell specifically suggested for anyone to use is the Ufit plan, which allows students to meet one-on-one with GVSU recreation staff at no charge to create a workout plan to meet their specific needs.

Participants are able to track their progress and see how close they are to their set goals. The program also accounts for nutrition and stress management.

“Exercise helps cognitive function and memory, a sense of well-being and reduces health risks,” Campbell said.

She said everyone can find what works for them. GVSU recreation offers fitness and wellness training, sports, outdoor activities and more. Campbell said the key to success is finding what you love and sticking to it.

For more information, visit