GVSU Rec Center gears up for new users, new year

GVL / Robert Mathews
Rec Center

Robert Mathews

GVL / Robert Mathews Rec Center

Kara Haight

With the beginning of the new year comes inevitable resolutions. Some make promises to improve their GPA while others commit to making that phone call home every week, but many New Year’s resolutions revolve around the idea of becoming fit and healthy.

Grand Valley State University’s Recreation Center is gearing up to help students keep those wellness wishes.

According to the GVSU Rec Center webpage, an average of 2,000 users come into the center on a daily basis. But as winter semester begins, the center usually sees an increase in students, said Dustin Mier of Campus Recreation.

“We are available throughout the year but we always see a big surge in the number of participants at the beginning of each semester,” Mier said.

GVSU students aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the center. Mier said he usually sees an influx of faculty and staff at the beginning of the semesters, as well.

As students begin their year of health, the Rec Center has created some programs to keep them coming back well into the new year.

“We have our free UFIT plan, which is much like personal training (where) you can meet with a certified staff member to get a workout designed specifically for your needs and goals,” said Amy Campbell, assistant director of wellness at Campus Recreation.

The center will also be hosting group exercise classes, which include Zumba, Pilates and more. Campbell said a new program, TRX, has been added to the group exercise classes.

“TRX (is) a method of suspension training and a great workout,” she said.

For GVSU runners, the center will be hosting events this semester to get students ready for competition.

“Warrior Camp starts after spring break and is a great training program to get you ready for something like the ‘Warrior Dash’ or ‘Tough Mudder,’” Campbell said. “Also coming back this year is our annual 5/3rd Riverbank Run training program. It offers weekly runs, monthly programs to follow, coaching staff and freebies.”

Anyone who registers for the program will also be signing up for the actual race, and Campbell said it is a great way to meet fellow runners.

With students flocking to the GVSU Rec Center, Mier, who also works as a personal trainer at the center, advises those looking to become healthy to also be careful.

“I find that a lot of people have different opinions on what ‘healthy’ means,” he said. “Some people gauge their health by how they look, but there is so much more to health than that.”

With so many people trying to get fit, Mier said people sometimes do not do it in a healthy way.

“Unfortunately, this does happen quite often. Many people hear about ways to lose weight through word of mouth,” Mier said. “Many of these methods are not supported by any type of study or any real science, and not only can they be unsafe, but they are usually not effective.”

He said Rec Center users should be aware and follow the guidelines for physical activity and health.

“The basic guidelines established by the federal government call for 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week for students/adults. Ideally, that should be done five days a week for 30 minutes a day,” Mier said.

He added that people shouldn’t judge their health by their weight.

“An ‘ideal’ weight for one person isn’t always the ‘ideal’ weight for another person, even if they are the same age, height and sex.

The same holds true for diet,” he said. “Being healthy isn’t just about looking good in a bathing suit or being able to lift a bunch of weight. In fact, being healthy isn’t just about someone’s body.

Mental and social well-being are a big part of someone’s health as well.”
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