It may be a reflection of the growing trend towards staying fit and healthy that universities and colleges are dedicating resources to building state of the art fitness facilities with a new found vengeance.
Sports and athletics have always been an intrinsic part of college life, but the new age fitness centers taking shape at university campuses can give some of the commercially run hi tech health clubs a serious run for their money.
Before we explore the range of fitness solutions that are at the disposal of university and college students these days, let’s understand why it’s important for them to maintain a fitness schedule.
Importance of Fitness for College Students
College is undoubtedly an exciting time for students, but it can also cause a lot of stress in them. It’s the first time students are staying away from their families, which leaves them vulnerable and lonely.
Besides, they are living under all kinds of pressures – the pressure to make new friends, to fit in, to get good scores, to participate in extra-curricular activities and most of all the pressure that comes from knowing they’re on their own. All this can lead to negative thoughts and anxiety and the best way to deal with that is a good workout at the gym.
Exercise brings not just mental relaxation, but also a whole lot of health benefits to those who care to do it. Exercising regularly can ward off serious ailments that are linked to obesity and physical inactivity including hypertension and heart disease.
Moreover, the years spent in college are formative years and the habits we inculcate during this time are likely to stay with us for life. So, students who manage to squeeze in a fitness regime into their daily routine have a much better chance of continuing the habit later in their lives.
College also means nightlong study sessions, all night partying, sleep deprivation, loads of junk food & alcohol, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. Exercise helps offset some of the ill-effects of leading such a lifestyle.
Many students find exercising fun, especially if they have access to world class facilities on campus. Gym is also a great place for them to meet people and make new friends. Working out together is believed to foster long-lasting bonds and teamwork in young adults.
On Campus Fitness Centers Take Center Stage
Considering the benefits regular exercising has for college students, it’s hardly a surprise that educational institutions have taken fitness center solutions to a whole new level overcoming budgetary constraints and other challenges.
Obviously, a lot of planning goes into the development of a fitness facility on campus and it forms a part of the overall experience a university or college offers to its students. Some educational fitness solutions that are being seen include
1. Fully Equipped Gymnasiums: And we’re not talking about a bunch of treadmills and a few cross trainers. University gyms these days are glitzy affairs featuring high performance exercise machines including the latest cardiovascular and strength training equipment that provide a complete workout to students.
2. Sports Arenas: Equipment-based exercise is not everybody’s cup of tea. A lot of people find it a passive way of keeping fit. For them, it’s more fun to sweat it out in a game of racquetball than jog on the treadmill for thirty minutes. That’s why universities build gigantic sports arenas complete with multiple courts for sports like basketball, tennis, squash, and racquetball to name a few. Many universities also have a fully laid out jogging track for runners!
3. Swimming Pools: Gone are the days of a single swimming pool that had to accommodate all students. Universities are now investing in multiple swimming pools and it’s become commonplace to find recreational and competitive pools, indoor and outdoor pools, as well as heated and non-heated pools on college campuses.
4. Rooms for Group Exercises: University gyms and recreational facilities have multi-purpose rooms where their students can learn and enjoy group exercise classes. Yoga, Pilates, wrestling, aquatic gymnastics, aerobics, and martial arts are some of the activities that are taught to students in a group. These exercises don’t just aid fitness, but are also a lot of fun for students.
5. Recreational Space: The positioning of a university fitness center has undergone a shift from being just an exercise facility to a complete wellness destination where students can get together, pursue activities they enjoy, relieve some of their stress, develop new interests, and stay fit in the process. So you’ll see many colleges equipping their fitness centers with skating rinks, dance studios, climbing walls, indoor beaches, waterslides, and the likes. Some have gone a step further by adding spa and sauna facilities for students to relax after a grueling workout session.
Clearly, modern day on campus fitness facilities are not just value added service that universities offer their students. They are being projected as one stop station catering to all the fitness, recreational, and sporting needs of students.