Posts Tagged ‘Quinnipiac’

Fitness Isn’t Always Free

April 13, 2010

How much would you pay for a gym membership?

At Quinnipiac, the fitness facilities are free, but students at Penn State University aren’t as lucky.

In addition to a “facilities fee” that is added to the tuition of every student at Penn State, the University charges students anywhere from 52 to 99 dollars for year-long access to the campus’s three facilities, according to Penn State student Melissa Graesser.

“I know that some people don’t register for the gym because they feel that they won’t use it enough to get their moneys worth, but if it was free they would take some of the classes that the gym offers,” said Graesser. “Many students still pay to use the gym, myself included, but it would be nice to be able to use the facilities paid for in the facilities fee.”

It’s a good thing Quinnipiac doesn’t charge its students to use the gym-more than 70 percent of those polled say that they would not use the fitness facilities if the university included a fee. Over 29 percent say that it would depend on how much the university was charging.

“I would go to a gym off campus, LA Fitness probably,” said senior Mike Capko.

Sophomore Rob Monico, who pays 35 dollars a month for his LA Fitness membership, says that the gym at Quinnipiac isn’t worth paying for.

“The gym is just lacking cause the weights are destroyed,” he said.

Sleeping In, Working Out

April 6, 2010
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Document Courtesy of the New York Times

You need sleep to work out, at least effectively-that’s no big secret. For college students, however, this simple ingredient can be hard to come by.

Junior Sam Friedman is used to being bogged down by what he describes as “irregular” sleeping habits, due to a schedule that has him taking morning classes every other day.

According to medHeadlines, college students have a reputation for being short on sleep.

“I end up being being very tired on some days, or very refreshed on other days,” Friedman said.

Friedman stays up late when he knows he can sleep in the next day. Unfortunately, he has trouble breaking this habit on nights before his early morning classes.

“A lot of times when I stay up late I’m doing my schoolwork, because I don’t have a lot of time to do it during the day,” he said.

In addition to taking classes, Friedman holds an internship at WTNH and works twice a week at the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, not to mention that one of his broadcast journalism classes has him covering a beat in Waterbury.

“That’s almost like another work study,” he said.

One has to wonder how Friedman even finds the time to get to the gym, let alone gather the energy to work out.

“Anytime I don’t sleep well, I don’t have as much energy,” Friedman said. “I will still go, but it ruins my workout.”

According to medHeadlines, college students have a reputation for being short on sleep. A third of college students surveyed in a sleep study had took 30 minutes or more to fall asleep, while over 40 percent reported waking up during the night.

Junior Justin Ottino knows this problem too well.

“It’s really difficult to get a lot of sleep,” Ottino said. “I wake up to just anything really.”

An occupational therapy major, Ottino is some times up until 2 a.m. doing homework. An avid gym goer, he naps in the afternoon after classes to re-energize for his workout.

“I usually find it a really big struggle to go in the gym, because I’m really, really tired,” he said.

Going the Distance

March 25, 2010

At Quinnipiac, students can ignore the second factor, considering the fact that they use the facility at the Mount Carmel campus for free, but for some students, particularly those living off campus, distance can hold considerable weight.

“It actually is the factor,” says Tammy Reilly, Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness at Quinnipiac. “If you don’t live close to where you’re gonna go, you’re just not gonna do it.”

Students at Quinnipiac, particularly those living at the York Hill campus, are encountering this obstacle.

“It’s extremely annoying on weekends, because I have to wait 20 or 30 minutes just to get to the gym,” says Andrew Merrick.

A junior, Merrick lives five minutes from campus, but ask any student living at the York Hill campus, and they’ll tell you that the commute from there to Mount Carmel is not, by any means, a short trip.

“You have to leave here like a half hour early,” says junior Mike Spinosa. “Walking to the garage is very inconvenient.”

The walk to the York Hill parking garage is more an issue during the winter, when high winds on the hill amplify the chill in the air.

“It’s like you have to mentally prepare yourself for that walk,” says Spinosa.

York Hill residents like Spinosa, a frequent gym goer, can either drive to the main campus and face a packed commuter lot, or wait anywhere from five to fifteen minutes for one of the shuttles that run between the two locations.

Brett Ainslie, a junior living in a house on New Road, doesn’t even have the second option. Living off campus, he says, has literally stopped him from going to the gym altogether.

“It’s not that much harder to drive to campus,” he says. “It just makes me not wanna come.”

A busy class schedule can add to the inconvenience.

For Kareem Gentles, another York Hill resident, going back up to York Hill after class, changing into gym clothes, and then making the trip back “is too much of a process.”

“I either go home or bring my stuff to class, which sucks because then you go to class all sweaty and shit,” says Gentles.

Gentles goes to the gym about once every three weeks.

“I went a lot more when I was on campus,” he said.

Expectations on Sanitation

March 4, 2010

The shortage of space caused by the crowd occupying the Mount Carmel gym on any given afternoon is a clear indication that students at Quinnipiac are committed to fitness. In addition to staying in shape, however, Mount Carmel fitness center staff members want students to embrace a different habit.

 The facility’s staff makes sure to minimize the risk of gym users contracting and/or spreading of the virus MRSA, but part of the responsibility falls on students, says Assistant Athletic Director for Fitness and Wellness Tammy Reilly.

 A potentially dangerous form of a staph infection known to spread in hospitals, MRSA has become cause for concern at gyms and fitness centers due to its tendency to breed in congested facilities. Staph is a bacteria that exists on skin, but it is not always harmful. Twenty-five to thirty percent of the population carries the bacteria without the risk of infection, according to a Journal News article.

MRSA bacteria, which is resistant to certain antibiotics, is found on 1 percent of the population.

Staff members disinfect the benches and machines using a spray called SaniGuard, but it is necessary for students to clean and wipe down the equipment they use throughout the course of the day to prevent germs from spreading, says Reilly.

“Obviously we don’t go out and slap people on the hand, and tell them to wipe off the equipment, but we enforce that in the orientation video, and the signs we put around,” says Reilly.

An American Medical Medical Association study   revealed that MRSA, at 19,000 fatalities annually, kills more people per year than the Aids virus.

Reilly says that students, typically, are conscious about equipment cleanliness, but an hour spent in the facility on a busy afternoon suggests otherwise. Someone observing the scene is unlikely to spot anyone using the paper towels or hand sanitizers stationed throughout the facility, and gym users themselves have admitted that they rarely see those guidelines followed.

“You don’t see people wiping down the equipment because some people don’t sweat that much, and they don’t really feel like they have to wipe it down,” says Justin Ottino, an occupational therapy major who frequents the gym.

“I think they’re better on the cardio equipment, than the weight equipment,” says Reilly. “I think it’s because they see themselves sweat on it, and that’s not picking on Quinnipiac, from all the gyms I’ve been at, that’s what I see.”

So far, says Reilly, Quinnipiac has not experienced any widespread MRSA outbreaks.

“I’m thinking it’s isolated cases, and it’s gonna happen wherever you are,” she says.

The Journal News reported that fitness centers do not play a large role in the spread of MRSA, mainly due to the fact that the virus tends to be spread by “skin to skin” contact, although sanitation precautions at gyms, nevertheless, should be taken.

Reilly says she has not seen the topic surface in the various health club conventions she attends.

“I don’t think it’s an issue in our industry yet,” she says.

A Fitness Blog for the College Student

January 28, 2010

Any serious gym rat has browsed through his/her fair share of fitness blogs. Each one of these so called exercise gurus have their own formula that, they say, will shepherd you to the fitness promise land-whatever, in your mind, that may look like. Now the reality is that in addition to the “right” exercises, many of these formulas include crucial elements such as a certain diet, and, something that’s even harder to come by, time. For college students, these last two resources can be scarce. We all pull all-nighters studying, eat the university’s own brand of fast food, and, (let’s be honest) party.  Anyone can tell you that you need food and water to survive, but not everyone can tell you how to find those bare essentials in the middle of a desert.  College life is the desert. Now, let’s find the food and water.

Work to Workout Balance

January 28, 2010

College athletes aren’t the only students looking to stay in shape at Quinnipiac University, and the crowd of gym goers that occupies the campus fitness center during the facility’s peak hours-mid to late afternoon-is clear evidence of that. Add to that the fact that the university felt compelled to build an additional fitness center at the new York Hill campus, and you can safely say that many Quinnipiac students enjoy working out. Fitness is about setting goals, and-whether the objective is to avoid gaining that freshman 15, or adding 15 pounds of muscle mass-staying disciplined enough to reach them. Certain aspects of the university surroundings, however, can significantly challenge students’ commitment to the weight room or treadmill. The purpose of this blog will be to help students navigate through these obstacles. Their guides are not work out experts or celebrity trainers, but average, everyday people who accomplish the unthinkable-balancing a fulfilling gym regime with the rigors (and good times) of college life.