The holidays are over, but those extra pounds you received with Santa's gifts are still lingering. In addition to a strict diet to help us bounce back to our desired shapes, The University of Alabama's Recreation Center
can aid in remodeling your post-holiday physique.
Having been open only since 2004, the Recreation Center is advanced and accommodating to all members. The facilities offer multiple stories of weight and cardio rooms, studios for aerobic classes, indoor swimming pool and basketball courts, outdoor tennis courts and soccer fields, saunas and steam rooms and even a rock wall to ensure complete diversity in your workout regimen. You can also participate in various intramural sports
that will help you get in shape and meet some great people.
Melissa Leblanc is a senior majoring in advertising at the university. "I feel like the rec is my second home," Leblanc said. "There's so many different things to do there and ways to enjoy your workout. It never gets old to me." One of the most important things about exercise is to switch up how you work out, and the university's recreation center is an excellent source for variety.
Classes are updated on a schedule periodically, with many options to choose. Here
is the schedule for the spring semester 2010 (I recommend "Hips, Butts, and Guts" — it literally works every muscle in your body). "I really like the spin classes," Leblanc said. "I also swim laps at the pool a lot."
Membership fees are paid for through the university's tuition plan for students, but you can still be a member even if you aren't enrolled in classes. There are two ways to go about getting a membership for non-students: 1) You can print and fill out an application
available online to mail back to the recreation center, or 2) Come by the membership office located on the first floor next to the check-in desk and directly speak to an advisor.
Unfortunately, though, there are down sides in choosing a college recreation center to use for exercise. You may be trying to trim down after the holidays, but so are thousands of other students that just got back to school. If you don't prefer crowds, good times to visit the recreation center are early in the morning or late at night, which will help you avoid traffic of multiple students in the afternoon after attending their classes. Megan Mullane, a UA senior majoring in kinesiology said, "I always go early in the morning. Not only am I avoiding big crowds, but I feel like I am starting my day off right."
Whether you are wanting to lose weight after the holiday festivities or are just looking for a fun and fast way to get in shape, the University of Alabama's recreation center can help you maintain your goal. If you are "not a workout person," you can join an intramural sports team or swim laps with friends. If you want to have some guidance with your exercise, you can attend classes or even hire a personal trainer. Like I said before, the holidays are over ... and swimsuit season is just around the corner!
Photo 1: Larry Miller/Flickr
Photo 2: helgasms!/Flickr