Exercise opportunities are abundant

by Jaclyn Roco
Editor in Chief

Hectic schedules, empty wallets and plain laziness are no longer good reasons to avoid working out.

Nor are these excuses good enough to explain why students do not make an effort to seek guidance for proper exercise, said Paul Alvarez, clinical supervisor for the Athletic Training Education Program.

The problem is that students do not take the opportunity to research what is available on campus, what is low cost, Alvarez said.

You do not have to go the gym to be active, said James May, ULV head athletic trainer.

Instead Alvarez encouraged students to train in the University’s weight room, swim at the local pool or run laps at the track. Working out on campus is not just health beneficial to the students, but cheaper as well, he said.

“Students spend a lot of money on gyms,” Alvarez said. “For every 100 members that sign up in January, there will be 10 in May. But they still make money because of the contract. They keep bringing people in. If every gym had complete compliance, they would go broke.”

On campus, however, students are given the opportunity to not only work out at their convenience, but are also able to talk to real professionals on-site.

Alvarez said the University faces a bigger challenge when teaching students the importance of exercising right. Although students get irate about the idea of taking a Fitness for Life class, he said the school has a commitment to the students to grasp the meaning of health.

Students like junior Vanessa Caraballo, however, said that they do not have time to take classes like Fitness for Life or to exercise for that matter when dealing with the long nights college often requires.

Although Caraballo was active in high school and played softball for 11 years, she claimed that activities like going to the gym is now the last thing on her mind.

“I think it’s a waste of time,” Caraballo said. “I think you have to be willing and wanting to exercise or be in an exercise program. (Fitness for Life) really didn’t change my exercise or non-exercise habits.”

Once you reach that point when you are more independent, when you have to work and study more, exercising becomes less important, she said.

Alvarez and other athletic teachers want to change these thoughts toward exercise.

Students should learn that when we teach how to exercise, we mean exercising for long- term benefits, not for competing. There is a big difference between being in shape and competing, Alvarez said.

“We as self-care practitioners need to get average individuals to realize (exercise) is not just about living longer, it’s living well,” he said. (Students) need to make lifestyle changes to stay healthy. (Health) is not going to come out of a bottle or computer. It’s sweat from the students.”

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