By Audrey Roach
Spring is in the air, the weather is warming up and students are strapping on their tennis shoes and building up a sweat.
The warmer weather is pulling students off their couches and out of the gyms to exercise outside.
Brian Gilbertson, fitness counselor at 24 Hour Fitness in Provo, said there is a slight decrease in the number of people that come in this time of year.
People exercise outdoors more often because of the higher temperatures, he said.
“People feel that they can run outside more because the climate is less harsh on the body,” Gilbertson said.
Alan Parcell, assistant professor in the department of physical education, said people do tend to work out more when it warms up. He suggests students choose an activity that has health benefits but is recreational as well.
“My recommendation is to pick something they enjoy rather than what they see everyone else doing,” Parcell said.
Making your workout a social activity can also be beneficial, he said. Parcell said support from other people can be a motivating force in an exercise program.
Larry Tucker, professor in the department of physical education, recommends a few ways to start a new workout program.
“The most important thing to remember is to start slow and easy because it”s easy to overdo at the start,” Tucker said. “If you”re going to be exercising for the next thirty years, there”s no reason to try to do it all in three days.”
The activity you choose is also a factor in sticking with it.
There are an infinite number of activities students can do; bicycling, aerobics, racquetball, tennis, basketball, Tucker said.
“It”s important that you enjoy the activity so that you”ll keep doing it,” he said.
Walking is a good way to get started on any exercise program. Begin with a 15 to 20 minute workout, and build up to 30 to 45 minutes per day. Then work from walking to jogging if possible, Tucker said.
Whatever activity you choose, try to plan for an aerobic workout four to five times a week, supplemented by strength training two to three times a week, Tucker said.
Gilbertson said strength training is also important to maintain overall muscle tone.
“Running is not the entire answer to staying in shape, resistance training is very important,” Gilbertson said.
Tucker said there are courses available on campus, such as HEPE and Y Be Fit that are helpful in educating students about the healthy ways to exercise.