College students live hectic lives – between classes, clubs, socializing, jobs, and sleep, it can be easy for them to put fitness on the back burner. Rather than let that happen, a recreational center at your university helps promote, inspire and instill the values of a healthy lifestyle.
Over the past few years, Precor and our distributors have installed fitness equipment in hundreds of universities worldwide, becoming a key player in the education market of the fitness industry. Throughout our experiences, we’ve gleaned four key features that college students and staff appreciate in a high-quality rec center. Keep these features in mind when planning your university’s recreational facility.
1. A Variety of Equipment
College is a great time for students to branch out and discover the kinds of fitness they’re into. One week, students might be into running on the treadmill. The next week, maybe they turn to those intense-looking AMTs that promise a great workout. After that, they may decide that lifting weights is their latest interest.
Keep up with the students’ never-ending hunger to try new things by offering a wide array of fitness equipment, including both cardio and strength equipment. A healthy mix of ellipticals, adjustable stride equipment (like our AMTs), treadmills, and bikes is ideal for your center’s cardio machines. For strength, consider functional training, selectorized machines, plate-loaded weights, and free weights.
2. A Space to Connect
Your recreation center should have an inviting, welcoming environment that gives students and staff alike the chance to connect with others who they may not normally talk to. Many students see the same peers day in and day out throughout their classes and projects. The rec center offers them the opportunity to bond with others who share similar fitness interests.
Having room for group exercise classes is perfect for getting students involved in fitness, and a way for them to meet others. Consider making space for our all-new AMT Team Fit classes. Other options include accommodating a swimming pool, basketball court, rock wall, indoor track, group cycle room, or yoga studio to your university’s rec center. Hold group fitness classes for credits, or for fun. This allows you to appeal to a much broader range of students, versus solely having fitness equipment.
3. An Open Environment
People like to be able to move around freely in the gym. Avoid packing your facility so full of side-by-side equipment that the exercisers feel like sardines. Rather, make sure there’s ample room for people to actually breathe and stretch without interfering with those directly around them. Try out our Space Planner tool to get an idea of how you can arrange your rec center for optimal efficiency.
Students also enjoy being able to work out with a view in sight. After sitting in classes for hours in rooms that may lack windows and natural lighting, the thought of exercising in a dark, stuffy gym does not sound appealing. Add some windows to the equation, and -- voila! -- the atmosphere has opened up significantly.
4. A Motivation Factor
Give students a reason to keep coming back to your facility to work out. Having TVs throughout the gym and cardio equipment with console entertainment options gives students a chance to catch up on their favorite shows or sporting events while they exercise.
Further, offering a networked fitness option to exercisers, such as our Preva software that is found on networked P80 consoles, allows you to communicate directly with exercisers. They're also able to set up Preva accounts that can be used to set and track fitness goals, take part in fitness challenges amongst other students, and browse a variety of web-based entertainment through their consoles.
Your university rec center should embrace the fact that being healthy is a fun and beautiful thing. Investing in a quality, inspiring recreation center is a sure-fire way to improve your university, and Precor is happy to be along with you as you plan for your university’s investment.
Don't miss our guide about other considerations to acknowledge when building a new university rec center, and read how Arizona State University integrated Preva into its wellness programs and initiatives.