Use Your College Gym

Young man workingEveryone has heard of the “freshman fifteen,” where new college students pack on so much weight that they are hard to recognize before the end of the first semester.

To beat the extra pounds, check out your campus gym. Many colleges have state-of-the-art athletic centers that are open to the entire student body. While they might be intimidating, use the gym for your own benefit.

Before you begin to work out, meet with a personal trainer. Gyms are equipped with individuals to help you plan the best workout for you and show you how to properly use the equipment.

Go with a friend. Working out does not have to be painful. Hop on a treadmill next to your roommate or a close friend and take the time to catch up. A work out buddy will encourage you to go to the gym and will make the experience far more enjoyable.

Do your own thing. Even if you feel like everyone is watching you, critiquing you, or even laughing at you; they are not. The gym is a community. Do not be embarrassed. Everyone there is there for their own health. Do not worry about the others, do your own thing.

Set your own goals. Know what you want to take away from your workout. Make a plan on what you want to accomplish for your body and stick to it. Be proud of yourself for what you accomplish.

Do no overexert your energy. If you are a beginner to the gym world, start small. Everyone has to start somewhere. You will gradually increase the length of time on the treadmill or the weight of lifts as your body adapts to the lifestyle change.

Be courteous and respectful to others. When the gym is crowded, limit your time on different machines. Cardio machines are often the most popular; if someone is waiting, give yourself a thirty minute time limit on the machine.

Clean the machine. You do not want to work out on a machine covered in someone else’s sweat and dirt. Many gyms provide paper towels and cleaning solution. Keep it healthy and prevent germs from spreading. If you use the weights or other equipment, be sure to return it to the place you found it.

Wear comfortable clothing. Working out is all about you and your personal health. You want to wear what is most comfortable to you. Personal appearance should not be your biggest concern. Refrain from wearing any clothing that distracts you, or others, from their workout.
Even if you are dripping with sweat and your cheeks are beet-red, the gym is a great place to meet others. The gym can be a social location to meet new friends and to catch up with others.

Attend classes. Many college gyms have recreational classes for students. From Zumba to extreme biking, these classes can target different areas and give variety to your workout. Classes can also be a social gathering to meet new friends or workout with old ones.

For more information on getting the most out of the college experience and for guidance on all things college- related, visit

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