Workout crowd expands yet again

by Cassie Norman

Once again, the Carse Fitness Center has seen an increasing number of visitors as students return to campus after Christmas break.

Facilities Manager Cory Chapman credits the noticeable change to spring break plans and New Year’s resolutions.

“Everybody is getting ready for spring break,” Chapman said. “It’s known as building for the beach, and it even happened when I was in school.”

Since returning to campus, sophomore Stephen Pilling has begun using the weight room. He started going with a friend to build up his strength. During his workout he does both cardio and weight training.

According to Nurse Michelle Cross, this is the right combination to help people lose weight and feel great. Cardio exercise helps them shed the pounds and lifting weights builds more muscle, which leads to a higher metabolism.

Sophomore Kim Bilstad has witnessed the increase of people exercising firsthand. She has used the weight room regularly since coming to Simpson, and remembers the same phenomenon occurring last year.

Freshman Katie Larsen uses the weight room every day. She works out regularly to keep in shape and to relieve stress. She has also observed an increase in people making use of the facilities.

“The machines are usually full,” Larsen said. “It isn’t overly packed, but it’s pretty full.”

Some times of day are much more convenient and preferred by students.

Bilstad notices a larger increase of people when she works out in the afternoon and evenings, and Chapman said the peak hours are mainly after classes and in the evenings. Usually the noon hour and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. are the busiest times.

Cross said getting involved in a variety of activities is the best way to stick with a workout routine. This can help prevent boredom, which can lead to a decision to quit working out. Simpson offers a wide range of fitness opportunities through Intramurals, such as basketball, racquetball and dodge ball. Cross also cited jumping rope and cross country skiing as two exercises that burn many calories. However, she noted that people should check with a physician before jumping into any intensive program.

Bilstad noticed after Christmas more women have come to the weight room than men, and the machines most used right now have been the bikes, treadmills and elliptical machines. This popularity often creates problems for people trying to use them.

“Treadmills and bikes are more popular,” Bilstad points out. “I’ve seen people waiting in line for them.”

Junior Allison Thelin prefers working out off campus. Her parents bought her a membership to a gym. She said that the place she goes to has more equipment, including treadmills and elliptical machines.

But so far, Bilstad said more people seem to be going more often.

“It seems like this year more people are going more regularly,” Bilstad said.

While Cross said exercise is the key to living a healthier lifestyle, it’s not the only component. She said diets might not be a bad idea, especially after eating Christmas cookies or grandma’s cooking.

But Cross said fad diets are the wrong idea.

“Fad diets don’t work,” Cross said. “You need to make good choices all of the time.”