Ayers: Students need to take advantage of Rowan’s free fitness opportunities

Students walk through the REC Center on campus. - Photo via Rowan University

As a college student there are days when I feel overwhelmed by all the things life has in store for me, and I am sure any other student can relate. From deadlines for class work to worrying about future academic plans, we as students have a lot on our plates. We all need something in order to detox and escape from our stress. 

Personally, I use the gym in the REC center and the Fitness Center on Victoria Street to help relieve any stresses I have. I don’t need to get into the obvious that “working out is good for you” but I think it’s important for students to stay active — and that doesn’t necessarily mean trying to build muscle. 

There have been plenty of times I have gone to the REC Center and haven’t lifted any weights since the REC center gives me a lot of options for what I want and can do. 

Being Rowan students, we have the benefit of a free membership to the REC center, Fitness Center and everything that comes with it. And I personally believe some students take it for granted. 

On top of having a weight room that gives students a lot of access to a variety of different workouts, the REC is also connected to an indoor track that hovers above basketball courts. This allows students the ability to run or walk no matter how crazy the Jersey weather is feeling outside that day. 

For anyone who isn’t interested in using the track, if you follow Rowan’s Instagram account you can see that on their story they promote yoga flow and sunrise yoga. For someone who hasn’t started doing yoga and meditation until recently, I can say it’s a great way to mentally escape from life’s stress. The group is always diverse and, for a newbie like me, I don’t ever feel intimidated when I participate in yoga.

Exercising releases chemicals called serotonin and other endorphins, which work together to make you feel happy and give you energy when doing a workout. These chemical reactions give you a euphoric feeling when completing a workout and provide the stress relief we all need.

Since the REC Center is open during most hours of the day, it suits the early birds that get up and start their days with a workout, as well as the night owls that end their day with a workout. For students that live near Rowan Boulevard, the Fitness Center has similar hours to that of the REC and all of the basic equipment one needs for a quality workout. Regardless of your needs, the fitness options on campus are accessible for all students during whatever free time they have in their day to get all the benefits of being active. 

I want it to be known that Rowan offers so much for the student body for free of charge, and when you compare it to other local gyms such as Esporta Fitness and Four Seasons Fitness, the difference in price is drastic. In the case of Four Seasons, the price for a student membership is $59 a month, and for Esporta Fitness their membership rate is $29.99 a month. 

As someone who went to Esporta for a year, the basic membership gives you access to one gym location, and depending on the location, includes a basketball court that members have access to. 

I can say that with a basic membership, you don’t get as many perks and access to the many different activities as Rowan gives us with the REC and Fitness center. To take a yoga class or join a group similar to Women + Weights outside of Rowan, you have to cough up extra money on top of your membership fee.

My point is that if I was still at Esporta, I would probably never try an in-person yoga class. It was only when I came to Rowan and saw Rowan promoting their yoga classes that I actually experimented with yoga and found out I really enjoyed it. It’s an activity that I continue to do to this day.

In my personal opinion, it’s a mistake for someone who goes to Rowan to not take advantage of what the REC and Fitness Center provide. This isn’t meant to be a PSA for students to become gym rats and go to the gym seven days a week, but I believe that the REC gives students the opportunity to find a physical activity that they can fall in love with. 

Whether that’s weight lifting, running, walking the track or yoga, the REC center and Fitness Center provide it all free of charge for students to take advantage of.

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