Campus Rec your way to a slimmer you

The best way to break up classes, hike up your heart rate and stop gorging yourself at A&W during your breaks, is to take advantage of some of the great recreation facilities and programs offered on campus. The Kinesiology building is the hub of it all, just a few steps away from A&W itself.

If you really dislike exercise or just happen to look better in a garbage bag than in a pair of sweats, don’t fret. There are lots of fun ways to prevent yourself from becoming a plump and portly piece of quivering cellulite-like sliding around on your cheeks at the Olympic Oval during a student free-skate session, or splashing your friends silly in the shallow end of the pool at the Aquatic Centre. Or, if you’re miraculously able to muster just a small amount of physical coordination, spend an hour or two every week playing on one of the intramural leagues on campus where teams compete in basketball, volleyball, ultimate and a whole lot of other sports.

If you’re after a slightly more intense work out, but you still want to keep it fun, try a game of squash at one of the Racquet Centre’s 13 squash courts. They also have seven racquetball courts as well as open rec badminton and seasonal tennis. Be sure to make court bookings at least 4 to 5 days in advance by phone or online. If you miss three of those bookings however, your booking privileges will be revoked.

The Aquatic Centre’s 50m pool and diving facility is another good option for a mid-range workout where you can swim lengths and scope out Speedos simultaneously. You can also sign up for adult swimming lessons or even take a deep water running class.

If too much Häagen-Dazs and frappucinos from the summer mean you need to get serious and get results, then the Fitness and Lifestyle Centre is your best bet. A good selection of cardio and weight machines as well as free weights can be found downstairs, along with two studios where a range of classes from spinning to yoga to hip hop take place. Upstairs, you’ll find the 200-metre track, 32-station circuit, weight machines and floor space for your ab workout.

On the other hand, if you could break a plate on your abs and you’re just making everyone else look bad by prancing your toned ass around the gym, then why not try increasing your balance and agility and building up your quads at the climbing wall at the Outdoor Rec Centre. It’s free for U of C students, but you’ll need to pass a belay test before you can go at it on your own.

Getting checked out when all you’re trying to do is work out is commonly reported at the U of C gym. The best way to avoid this is to try the gym during the early morning or late evening when things are less crowded and it’s more about focusing on your body, not someone else’s. On the other hand, if your work out is all about check out, the best time for a more ‘scenic’ visit to the gym is during the lunch hour rush or from around 3 to 6 p.m.

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