For many students, the Freshman Fifteen can easily become the freshman fifty. Due to the many miscellaneous delicacies of sketchy nutritional value that can be bought on a college kid budget, eating healthy is next to impossible. And with the soaring prices of gym memberships, have fun trying to find the equipment or motivation to work all those empty calories off.
But here at Eastern Michigan University, we have our own secret weapon to blast those extra pounds to bits and attain that athletic, muscular physique we’ve always dreamed of having. The Olds-Robb Recreation-Intramural Complex, or Rec/IM, is a recreational center with amenities rivaling most fitness centers. The building is located in a central campus location and has been serving EMU students since 1982.
“It’s been around for a long time,” Rec/IM Supervisor Brian Robinson said.
The Rec/IM features two swimming pools, a hot tub and sauna, several workout facilities, an indoor track and four full basketball courts. There’s a little something for every student of every background, so long as they’re seeking a way to stay active in college.
Robinson said EMU’s diverse community makes working at the Rec/IM a rewarding and informative experience.
“It teaches you to adjust to different types of people, and since I work here I’ve learned how to handle myself in communication with all types of people—people from India, people from England, people from all different parts of the country.”
Even students with children will find something at the Rec/IM.
“We are very open to having families come,” Robinson said.
One unique feature of the Rec/IM is B Young B Fit, a program that makes fitness classes more affordable to EMU students.
“B Young B Fit is collaboration between Brian Young, who has a fitness facility on Washtenaw, and the Rec/IM,” Robinson said.
“We have all the classes like body fit and running classes so you can be able to get your fitness on at a discounted rate. Most places charge $115 to $200 per session. They charge $50 to $75 per session.”
A study at Cook College said the average student consumes approximately 112 excess calories a day upon starting college. 112 doesn’t seem like that much, but it will catch up with you in a few years—by maintaining those unhealthy eating habits, it is possible to gain as much as 27 pounds by graduation. Those 27 pounds can contribute to a variety of health problems later in life, such as Type II diabetes and hypertension.
Exercise isn’t a cure-all to this weighty issue, but it can help. The Rec/IM’s mission, as stated on its website, is to “provide the campus and surrounding community with quality recreational facilities and activities which promote a healthy lifestyle through participation in exercise.”
“Once you leave your family’s home, you’re used to having your family cook for you. When you go to college, you’re on your own. If you don’t know how to cook, whatever they throw in front of you when you’re hungry, you’re gonna eat it,” Robinson said.
Nate Montz, a fifth-year senior who is studying biochemistry, understands the importance of staying fit and eating healthy in the college years.
“I’ve been lifting since I was fourteen for sports in high school, so I knew whenever I came here I’d find out where the rec was. I like working out—I work out like every day,” Montz said. “Your diet is more than half of it. If you eat like crap, you’re not gonna notice any changes.”
The Rec/IM serves several additional purposes in addition to providing a facility to help students stay in shape. The Competitive Edge Pro Shop, a small gift shop located on the first floor of the building, offers a variety of healthy snacks and gym clothes.
“The prices in the gift shop are very different compared to the Student Center prices, so it’s more campus and college-student friendly,” Robinson said.
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