Working in

Anna Duszkiewicz

How to stay physically fit without braving snow, wind and lines for the elliptical

Freshman fashion design major Megan O’Hara does push-ups on the stairwell in Koonce Hall, avoiding the harsh winter weather. TARA RAFTOVICH | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

The new year is in full swing, and many students have resolved to get physically fit by working out. Luckily for students, the Student Recreation and Wellness Center offers just about everything one needs to get into and stay in shape.

“I like the rec center because all the equipment is there,” said Jennifer Mowka, sophomore international relations major.

However, with a full schedule and the bleak January weather, making regular trips to the rec center is easier said than done for some students.

Sophomore chemistry major Jessica Lehmkuhl said she tries to go to the rec center, but a lot of times her homework and job keep her too busy. And she isn’t the only one.

“In the beginning of the semester I go to the rec a lot,” said junior athletic training major Shayna Nickel. “In the middle of the semester I get real busy,” she said. Nickel said it takes a while to get a machine, especially an elliptical, at the rec center.

But what about students who are unable to work in a trip to the recreation center?

Believe it or not, it is possible to get a good workout without leaving the residence hall. Diane Kennedy, owner of Curves in Fairlawn, said stretching, strength training and cardiovascular exercise are important components of a good workout. For cardio she suggested jumping jacks or jumping rope. She said dumbbells can be used for strength training.

Jodi Brooks, owner of Maximum Fitness Training Center in Akron, said working out in one’s residence hall is fairly simple. “We’re talking basic calisthenics here,” she said. “You can do push-ups and sit-ups. You can go up and down the stairs if there are stairs in your building.”

Brooks said stairs are the cheapest Stairmaster ever built. Students like sophomore physical education major Jordan Herron have taken advantage of the stairs in their dorms. “I remember last year during finals week we ran the steps because we couldn’t make it to the rec – we only had a couple minutes,” she said.

Brooks also suggested using bands as an alternative to using dumbbells. “They’re fairly inexpensive,” she said. “For 20 bucks you can get a set of them with different intensities, and you can do the movements you would do with dumbbells.”

She doesn’t recommend doing exercise videos in the dorms, especially ones that include aerobics. “You want to make sure you’re not doing aerobics and some huge movements where you can trip, fall and hurt yourself,” she said. “The dorm rooms I’ve seen are very small. Pilates and yoga would be a little bit more appropriate for a smaller space.”

The advantages to these indoor workouts extend beyond the physical.

“An advantage to working out in your dorm is you don’t have to leave when it’s cold outside,” Herron said. “You don’t need to get all bundled up and take the walk over. If you’re not really motivated to go to the rec, maybe you and your roommate can go up and down the steps, or walk the halls,” she said.

Contact features correspondent Anna Duszkiewicz at [email protected].