Physical fitness can improve health, GPA

It’s 7 a.m. Many students are just waking up. For Emily Warburton, it’s a prime time for a workout. With focus and determination, she and many like-minded students enter the Weber State University gym.

“WSU’s gym is where I spend every weekday, and it’s free!” Warburton said. “I’ve gone for a regular workout, a swim and a few fitness classes. You’d normally have to pay for these on top of regular fees at most other gyms. If you’ve got downtime before, between or after classes, spend 20 minutes on the elliptical, go bench a few reps or swim some laps. You’ll definitely feel better about yourself.”

By taking some time to exercise, students might be doing more for themselves than they think. A 2010 study of 266 undergraduates by the American College of Sports Medicine showed a correlation between exercise and student GPA.

Jennifer Flynn, a researcher during the study, was quoted as saying, “After accounting for these variables, vigorous physical activity was still associated with GPA. Students who participate in vigorous activity seven days per week have GPAs that average .4 higher, on a scale of 4.0, than those who participate in no vigorous activity.”

The WSU gym offers many amenities students need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise machines, weights, basketball courts and an indoor track are only some of the tools available for students. Some of the gym equipment was recently updated, and, according to Lisa Pederson, gym facility coordinator, there are more updates in store.

“Incidentally, we are in the process of replacing some of the older equipment down in the fitness arena,” Pederson said. “We hope to have that completed sometime in the next couple months. We will be testing a ‘green’ spinning bike that will generate power back in to the facility.”

Chris Brown is a WSU communication alumnus, employee and frequent gym visitor. He said, “There is so much to do at the gym. WSU’s complex offers a huge range of equipment that is rarely seen under one roof.”

Before students enter the gym, they might run into Brown sitting behind the desk, requesting IDs from gym attendees.

“I was never really the athlete in high school or college, but I didn’t want to be the guy behind the desk watching people work out anymore,” Brown said.

On top of the equipment available, the gym offers fitness classes with certified instructors at various times throughout the day. Classes in yoga, TurboKick, cycling, Pilates, Zumba and swimming are offered, free to students, throughout the week.

“About 700 people come to the gym to work out every day,” Pederson said.

Pederson said she has one piece of advice for students.

“Make use of the facility and the wealth of equipment, programs, faculty and recreational opportunities available to the students. The customer service and campus recreation staff is here to help in any way we can.”