The lives of university students are busier than ever. Between classes, jobs, socialising and sleep, fitness and exercise often get relegated to the bottom of the list. A university’s recreation centre can help promote, inspire and motivate a healthy lifestyle among students and staff.
Precor and our distributors have helped many universities worldwide install fitness equipment on their campuses. As a key player in the fitness industry among colleges and universities, we’ve been able to glean a lot of information from the schools and their students. Here are four key features that university students and staff appreciate in a high-quality recreation centre.
1. Providing Motivation
As a fitness facility, it’s important to be able to provide motivation for students to continue to make progress towards their fitness goals. Entertaining them with a chance to catch up on their favourite shows or watch the hottest music videos is an excellent motivator. Equip your gym with TVs throughout the workout areas and cardio machines with console entertainment options.
Networked fitness is also an excellent way to keep students and staff coming back. This feature, such as our very own Preva® software, allows exercisers to track their progress. It is also a great opportunity for you, as the facility manager, to communicate with your members in new ways. Preva allows you to share news and contests as well as market other features of your gym right to your networked equipment.
2. Offering Variety
One of the best ways to motivate your exercisers is to offer a wide variety of equipment in your facility. Students like to switch things up and try out new things, especially during their university years. This includes how they exercise.
A solid mix of treadmills, ellipticals, adjustable stride equipment (like our AMTs), and bikes will provide students and members with the variety they’re seeking in their cardio workouts. You can also provide variety in the strength room with plate-loaded weights, selectorised machines and free weights.
3. Creating an Open Environment
While having a wide variety of equipment is important, try to avoid packing your facility too much. It’s been found that exercisers enjoy being able to move about freely in their gym without feeling too cramped. Creating an open environment will allow exercisers to feel like they have enough space to complete their workout effectively. Precor offers a Space Planner tool that allows gym managers to evaluate their space and find the best layout possible.
It’s also important that your gym doesn’t feel like a classroom. Students spend much of their days in classes, labs, or the library. If your gym feels like an extension of any of those areas, students won’t be motivated to come back. Offer as much natural light as possible by including large windows into your design. If those windows offer a nice view of the outside as well, you’ll provide an atmosphere that is pleasing and encouraging.
4. Generating Connection
The university environment is one of learning, growth and connection and the university recreation centre should offer the same components to their exercisers. Students like a welcoming and inviting environment that gives them the chance to meet new people and connect with their friends.
Group exercise classes are perfect for helping students get involved in fitness and offers an excellent way for them to meet people they normally wouldn’t see in their classes or every day life. A new class that people love is our all-new Precor AMT Team Fit class. Offering such features as a pool, basketball and volleyball courts, a rock wall and an indoor track will help generate connections between your members.
The goal of a university recreation centre is to provide a space for students and staff to create healthy lifestyles, despite their busy schedules. Factoring these four key features into your facility’s design will help enable you to create a welcoming and motivating space for your exercisers.