Physically fit

GVSU should add exercise facilities downtown so that students who live on or near the Pew Campus can stay active

| 2/22/15 10:05pm

During Thursday's Student Senate general assembly, Grand Valley State University senators discussed and passed a resolution to encourage an expansion and improvement of fitness opportunities on the GVSU downtown campus.

While this does not mean that concrete plans have been made or that construction will begin anytime soon, Student Senate has showed its support for this being a possible future project. Though the university's administrators will make the decisions regarding future plans, having a recreation facility on the Pew Campus is an important issue that students, faculty and staff should support.

Any student, regardless of their major, should exercise – or at least have the opportunity to. We've all heard that working out can help reduce stress, lower cholesterol, increase happiness and add an extra boost of energy to our days. However, many times we make all sorts of excuses to avoid doing things that will help improve our overall bodies and minds. The biggest reason people use is a lack of time.

While we can't add more hours to the day, there are ways to use the time we already have to exercise. First, simply walking around campus to and from classes is a great way to keep moving.

Second, limiting screen time – from phones to televisions to computers – can increase free time. Or, do some at-home exercises while watching your favorite program so that you aren't passively sitting on the couch eating cheetos.

Finally, the Recreation Center is open early and closes late, so students can pop over before, after or between classes. There are also personal trainers and many programs available for students to participate in. Being active for 30-minutes per day can help keep a healthy routine.

As GVSU students, we have a useful building on the Allendale Campus that we should take advantage of. For nursing, engineering, business and many other students who have most or all of their classes downtown, this may be harder due to time spent traveling back and forth.

Administrators need to follow many in the GVSU community in recognizing the need for exercise facilities on the downtown campus – one that is free and convenient for students who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. True, the YMCA is located near the Pew Campus, but students are required to pay fees to use the equipment.

While there is discussion of expansion, students can voice and show their support through continued use of the facilities GVSU has to offer now. By taking these steps, we can get the ball rolling in this discussion of needed recreational facilities. 

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