I dread nothing more than going to the Alumni Gym Fitness Center this time of the year.

Yes, folks ? the ball has dropped. The New Year?s resolutions have begun.

Anyone who has gone to the Fitness Center lately can commiserate my complaint. Picture this: every treadmill, elliptical and bike machine being used at the same time. All the free weights, floor mats, and Nautilus equipment inundated with sweaty bodies.

All the while, frustrated students wait nearby in a line like hungry aggressive predators ? ready to pounce on lonely prey.

It is scary. It is intimidating. Most of all, it is sad ? to me at least.

Although I praise the new folks in the fitness neighborhood, it is disappointing that some of the students choose to exercise mostly in light of the New Year.

I know that is a harsh comment. But let?s face it ? how many people actually exercise on a regular basis, in a healthy manner?

The cruel truth is that we all do it. We live in a society that doesn?t really know what the word ?fitness? means anymore. Too many of us fall into the hip, the cool and the trendy. It is deemed convenient to use the high tech, sleek and easy-to-use machines. As a result, schedules are rearranged just to make it to the Fitness Center before it closes.

What about the rest of the day?

We take the car instead of walk. We take the elevators instead of climb the stairs. We sit around to watch ?Temptation Island? instead of running outside on a nice day. We don?t even see too many people traying or sledding in the snow anymore. Too many of us think that as long as we go to the Fitness Center, it?s enough ? we are assumed to be ?fit.?

It sounds like what we really need to revolutionize is the concept of fitness and we need tp rediscover other fun physical activities.

That is why UR?s University Health Services and the Department of Athletics and Recreation co-sponsor ?Feel Fabulous in February? each year.

The program?s goal is to educate students on nutrition, health and wellness. It also introduces students to the different types of athletic programs that UR offers to students of all fitness levels. Varsity letters are not required.

UR?s intramural program is a way for students to play competitive sports like basketball, tennis or soccer. Also available are club sports such as Tae Kwon Do, equestrianism and skiing. What?s more is that these are almost all free ? something that we as students don?t get to hear that often.

Aside from UR intramural and club programs, there are still more ways to get your body moving without stepping on a machine.

The Goergen Athletic Center provides a plethora of racquets, balls and nets that only limited number of students take advantage of ? with merely the exchange of a UR ID.

There are also kickboxing, Tai Chi and other step aerobic classes, Tai Chi, and step aerobic classes. that are fun, exciting and affordable.

So next time you are standing in line at the Fitness Center or when you are finally tired of ?Survivor II,? while sun is shining and the birds are chirping outside, think of all the options and give something new a try.

And who knows? You might actually follow through with your New Year?s fitness revolution this year.



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