Fitness Center attendance on yearly rise

By on February 6, 2008

For those who work at the gym at the recreation center, the beginning of second semester means busier days. While many believe the gym is busier because of New Year’s resolutions and the beginning of a new semester, there may be a more obvious and logical reason behind the increase in usage.

“This semester will be busier because of ‘spring breakers’,” said Tami Reilly, assistant athletic director for fitness and wellness here at Quinnipiac.

Reilly is referring to the many students who use the gym during the first eight weeks of the second semester in preparation for spring break. She said that many students work out so that they’re bodies will look good during break. “They’re the people who want beach bodies for spring break,” Reilly said.

John Tramontana, a fitness center supervisor and physical therapy grad student, also pointed out the large student usage following winter break, especially this year. He said it was the busiest he had seen the gym in four years.

“It always gets busier towards spring break,” Tramontana said.

He also noted that the rise in gym usage may also be contributed to the larger student body. Many students seem to hold the same observations.

“It helps you to get in shape for spring and summer breaks,” said Mera Beckford, a freshman. Beckford said she goes to the gym about four to five times a week.

“It’s a good habit,” Beckford said.

While many students use the gym to get in shape for break, some use it for other reasons. Eric Blinn, a sophomore, said he uses it to make himself stronger. “I use it to try and better myself and live a healthy lifestyle,” Blinn said.

While gym usage may quiet down following break, over all, the student body’s use of the gym and recreation center has grown over the past few years.

“From what we see on a daily basis, I think that it is busier. It seems that there are more people using the gym, it’s not just the same people over and over,” Reilly said.

She believes the increase is due to the younger generation’s accessibility to the gym. “For students, I think their generation has grown up with the gym. I didn’t grow up with the gym, but now it is so commonplace to join the gym.”

Part of this may also have to do with more students coming in with knowledge about working out. “There are less inhibitions about working out,” Reilly said. “Students come with more and more experience in working out.”

While spring break may be several weeks away, it is fair to say that the gym will remain busy. Students are encouraged to use it even during the busy time period.

“I think everyone should use it,” Tramontana said. “It’s a good healthy lifestyle.”

Some students have other ideas and reasoning as to why gym use rises following break. “I think freshmen do it to avoid the freshman 15,” said Natacha Varela, a freshman.

There is another common observation about gym usage during the second semester: it just about always slows down after spring break. Reilly noted that for many students work starts to become an issue as the semester carries on.

“Students have work and things piling up and the first thing to go is fitness,” Reilly said.

Melissa Moller contributed reporting to this article.


About Brendan Rimetz