Exercise Extravaganza!

Posted February 24, 2006

Nancy Dyleuth
Working on his arms, ULV baseball player B. J. DuBarry spends most of his time concentrating on his biceps and triceps in the ULV weightroom, which is free to all students.

Rhian Morgan
Staff Writer

It can be tough being a student. The expense of education takes its toll on young wallets, and most students will find they spend the majority of their college years worryingly insolvent.

Living a healthy and active lifestyle is important, especially for young people, as it stands them in good stead for the rest of their lives.

However, without having the luxury of money to spend on things like gym memberships and personal trainers, how can students afford to keep fit and keep up regular exercise?

LA Fitness, located on Foothill Boulevard, is the largest sports club in La Verne. Housing multiple types of aerobic machines, free weights and a swimming pool, the club is extensively fitted out.
However, with a $99 joining fee and a further $29.99 monthly membership cost, it is not for the bare of pocket.

So what other options are there for University of La Verne students that want to exercise, but don’t have the extravagant budget to do so?

Crescencio Gonzalez, ULV soccer coach and movement and sports science professor, explains that you don’t need a bulging wallet in order to keep fit.

“It is definitely possible to get all the benefits of a gym without joining one, if you are willing to work and have the motivation and drive,” Gonzalez said.

“Personal trainers are expensive because they are experts in their field; they have gone through an education, but that is what they provide: motivation,” he added.

ULV houses a small gymnasium that offers weight lifting facilities and is free to all students.

The University also runs several exercise classes during the week, such as kickboxing, yoga and aerobics, which can be taken by ULV students if they have a spare credit to use.

One student that makes use of the ULV facilities is senior Pauline Durand. She attends kickboxing class twice a week and also jogs around the campus track every weekend.

“I do it to stay healthy, to feel better about myself and to meet people,” she said. “It’s good to get outside and do different activities and keep fit.”

Durand also has her own rollerblades, which she uses to skate around the local streets of La Verne.

“I really enjoy doing it, I feel better after doing exercise and it’s effective. Keeping fit is important to me,” Durand said.

There are several fitness trainers on campus that are available to help students set up an exercise regime or simply be available for help and advice.

Gonzalez recommends being as active as possible.

“Anyone can do cardiovascular exercise,” Gonzalez said. “You can go running, cycling, skateboarding or swimming.”

“Bounding or hopping on one leg is another good form of exercise. It is good for developing leg strength,” he added. “Invest in a medicine ball, they are only about $20.”

George Damigos, a ULV senior from Greece, is a member of LA Fitness in La Verne and pays $29.99 a month to work out there.

“I go to keep myself fit and I enjoy it. There are many ways you can exercise though, you can walk or jog, it is not necessary to join a gym,” Damigos said.

“Exercise is important because it makes you balanced in soul and body. Ancient Greeks had a saying that if your body is healthy, your mind is ?also.”

Gyms and fitness centers regularly charge prices for membership. So why exactly do gyms charge so much to their customers?

“Gyms have so much equipment to keep up,” Gonzalez said. “It is costly to keep equipment running well.”

Though many are happy to spend their money on gym memberships and clubs, Durand believes students can get a good work out for much less of the cost.

“Use the facilities that are available on campus,” she said. “I recommend going jogging, it is the cheapest exercise I know, and get registered in sports classes on campus, it’s all free.”

If access to health and fitness facilities became free to all, would people start exercising more? Would the national obesity rate drop?
Durand doesn’t think so.

“More people would do it if it was free, but I don’t think it would increase figures dramatically because it’s a state of mind, and you cannot force people to do sports if they don’t like it, even if it’s free,” she said.

Maybe if people were more aware of the benefits of regular exercise, they would be more inclined to keep fit.

“Exercise has lots and lots of benefits for your health,” Gonzalez said. “Keeping fit is going to keep you healthy. A fit person can fight disease better because exercise boosts your immune system”.

Matt Durant, ULV strength and conditioning coach, said that students on tight budgets can still work out very easily, without the need for fancy equipment or gymnasiums.

“You can do almost everything you can do with weights, just do it with body weight; pull-ups, push-ups, squats and lunges, all sorts of exercise, you just have to be consistent,” he said.

Routines can easily be incorporated into a busy student’s schedule.

“You can arrange the workout to get it done in 30 minutes or less and get a better calorie burning and metabolic effect.” Durant said.

Believe it or not, but sparing a few minutes each day to undertake a basic fitness routine can be as equally effective as paying the costly prices of a gym membership.

However Gonzalez says that exercise is not all about the activity itself, but the mindset and drive to do so.

“What it really comes down to is the individual willingness to work. We’ve become a society of ‘ we want it but we don’t want to work for it.’ You have to be willing,” he said.

Whether you spend next to nothing or thousands of dollars on your workout regime, exercise takes some effort.

“Work-out is work,” Gonzalez said. “Anyone can accomplish anything, but you’ve got to be willing. There is no miracle drug; there is only hard work.”

Rhian Morgan can be reached at rhian.morgan@blueyonder.co.uk.

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