Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Did you know that 40 to 45 percent of American adults make one or more resolutions each year? Among the top New Year’s resolutions are resolutions about weight loss and exercise.At this point, most people have given up their New Year’s resolutions and gotten back into old habits. For many people this means they are giving up their work outs and healthy eating, and instead they might be doing something like indulging in cookies this Girl Scout cookie season. Whether it is bad habits, laziness, or maybe the recent snowstorms, everyone has had their share of ‘excuses’ for not going to the gym at least one time or more during the week.

Excuses be gone, at least for students at West Chester University. Why? With the variety of aerobics classes that are held in Sykes Student Union, there is no reason why a workout could not find its way into each day, or at least a few times each week.

What many students do not realize is that the fitness center located in Sykes is free of charge to students. One simple swipe of the student ID card at the front desk and students are in action. This sounds like great news until finding out that there could be up to a three hour weight for an elliptical or treadmill on a busy night, or that there is a line at every weight machine.

There is another option. Sykes also has a variety of group fitness and aerobics classes held every day of the week, and they are open to all students. For only $20 a semester, or $30 for students who pay up front for the whole year, you can go to any of the aerobics classes that interest you, or gain advice on how to develop a daily routine. Students can go as often as they would like.

Each week the aerobics classes include kickboxing, total body tone, boot camp, power yoga, Pilates, kettle bells, spin, zumba, dance jam and abs, totaling 38 classes every week. Each class is typically an hour to an hour and a half, with the exception of the abs class, which only runs 30 minutes long. The earliest class of the week begins at 9 a.m. on Thursdays and the latest class of the week runs from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights.

Classes, like spinning, requires a stationary bike, and kettle bells requires a kettle bell weight. Although Sykes does provide this equipment, there is a limited amount. To ensure a spot in either one of these classes, put your name on the sign up list the morning of the class; these lists are located at the front desk of the fitness center. Although there is limited equipment, there’s certainly no shortage of instructors; this semester alone there are 15 instructors.

The class instructors are all students at West Chester University. Some of them are studying kinesiology or have similar interests. Some of the instructors, like Nicole Hunt, became involved as a class instructor out of pure interest. Hunt is an elementary and special education major and is currently in her senior year at WCU. Up until she became an instructor, Hunt had attended the classes since her freshman year.

“I hated working out downstairs with all the pressure and the tough guys lifting weights while I’m working with my little five lb. weights,” Hunt said. “When I discovered the classes I thought they were awesome and kept going back.”

Hunt became an instructor in fall 2009 because she was familiar with the classes and routines already, and wanted to get paid for working out. She chose spinning because it was a workout for her. To become an instructor she had to go to a class one night a week. It was one of the classes she initially hated, but eventually she grew to love a challenging workout for a month to learn different aspects of exercise, including muscles, bones, injuries and heart pressure. There was a written test given, and also a practical test, which was performed in front of the present instructors at that time.

“It is so hard! I didn’t think it was going to be as hard as it was!” Abbey Beisswenger said, after her first time in Hunt’s spinning class. “I am glad I came though, I probably never would have tried it if my friends didn’t drag me here.”

Not only can the classes keep students healthy and active, but also going to the classes can be something new to do with a friend, and also a way to meet new friends.

Maybe students will realize that it is time to put away those excuses, and get to Sykes fitness center. The classes are affordable, the location is convenient to students, and with summer approaching, also known as bathing suit season. Now is a great time to start.

The aerobics class schedule changes each semester, but for students who are interested now, stop by the fitness center and pick up a copy of the 2010 Spring Schedule, which includes the days, times, and a brief description of each class. Check for information on the class schedule, information on job opportunities in the gym and more information about Sykes fitness center on the Web site located under recreation and leisure on the West Chester University home page.

Lindsay Lynch is a West Chester University student. She can be reached at

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