With the start of the semester, some students are challenging themselves to attend the gym more frequently. But it’s also a routine students say is hard to balance with their courseloads.
AJ Lacuesta, a group fitness instructor at the Student Recreation Center studying kinesiology, said he notices more students who start the semester going to the gym frequently, but attendance gradually decreases as the months pass.
“If they make it a priority, it would be easier, but a lot of people don’t,” Lacuesta said. “They always get busy with school. After awhile, they get lazy and start eating bad. Then it goes downhill.”
Fresno State music student Lauren Aiken, who works out at the rec center, said in the past she, too, has stopped going to the gym regularly during midterms and during heavy course load periods.
“Toward the middle of the semester when things get really hectic it gets too crazy and the gym sits on the backburner,” she said.
Lacuesta said there are ways to stay consistent with health-related goals by making it a priority.
“To keep on track [students] have to keep that routine and can’t make exercise the last thing on their list,” he said. “Like you have to go to class, you have to work out.”
He also said exercise has many benefits students might not be aware of, such as reducing stress. Aiken said she’s noticed those benefits in her singing.
“Staying physically fit is important for singing, realizing how much it helps as a singer is what keeps me going back,” she said.
This time she has a plan to keep her on track with her goals. “This semester I have a little more time to go, and I’m trying to go more because I’m planning my senior recital and I’m going to need to keep my stress down during this time.”
Lacuesta said people are more motivated by going to the gym with friends, or going to the group fitness classes.
“Surrounding yourself with people that are a support group would make it easier to stay on track because they can hold you accountable for not going.”
Fresno State student Alex Castro has also started to exercise more frequently with the motivation of his fraternity brothers. He said he wants to get in shape; his friends have helped by showing him workouts and exercises.
Castro said he noticed it is easier to reach his goals if he works out with a group of friends committed enough to help each other and to be healthy.
Aiken, who hits the gym with her workout buddy, agreed.
“It’s not the same going to the gym without her.”