Between assignments, exams, social obligations, economic stress, part-time work and personal care, students have their share of stressors and time commitments that make prioritizing stressful and challenging. One priority that often slips through the cracks with all of these obligations is physical health.
However, while it may be hard to see the benefit of maintaining a commitment to physical fitness when faced with many other obligations that seem more immediate and pressing, a lot of students do not realize how much of an impact physical well-being can have on the rest of their student experience.
Eric Walter, fitness manager for Brock’s department of Recreation Services, believes that physical health is crucial to a successful university experience, and said that an attention to fitness can positively impact a student’s sense of engagement and belonging with a university, which is a key element of a rounded university experience.“Number one, (physical health) gets you engaged in the university more than anything. Fitness isn’t an isolated thing like it used to be, it’s more of a social thing,” said Walter. “You meet people, you get to know people, and you’re engaged with what’s going on.”
Expanding past the social reasons for fitness, Walter also explained how fitness can help with almost every other important area of student life, from academics to stress. Rather than distracting from more important priorities, Walter suggested that fitness can actually help students do better at these other tasks.
“What reason isn’t there to be active?” asked Walter. “It helps with your sleep, it helps with your stress, it helps with your academics, and more than anything it gets you able to do things you want to do…it diminishes physical limitations you have.”
In addressing issues of cost, Walter emphasized that all Brock students, no matter how many courses they are enrolled in, have a free Zone membership and are welcome to come to the gym. For those who are not comfortable or familiar with the Zone, Walter said that there are free personal training sessions for every new member, focused on helping students understand how the body works, and that there are also group tours and orientations for new members.
For anyone looking for alternatives to conventional workouts, the Zone also offers classes such as Aquafit and the popular “Call of Booty” class, all free of charge. With so many free fitness opportunities on campus, making fitness a priority is much more efficient and possible for Brock students than it is for people without these resources. Walter expressed the importance of starting early in order to make the most of these free opportunities while they are available.
“Get involved early” said Walter. “Don’t wait until your fourth year to find out everything that is available to you… There’s life over here, there’s a lot of life here. It’s a release from the academics and the stresses that come along with them.”
Those interested in learning more about the Zone can check out brocku.ca/recreation-services. The Zone is open Monday to Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m, Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.