One of the most popular spots on college campuses in January is, unsurprisingly, the gym, as students, faculty, and staff look to fulfill their pledges to kickoff the new year by getting healthy.
Northeastern is no exception, as the Marino Center and Badger and Rosen Center see the biggest crowds of the year in January and September, according to Pamela Wetherbee-Metcalf, senior associate athletic director for campus recreation and club sports. The first Monday of the spring semester is typically the busiest day, she added.
“New Year’s resolutions make January busy everywhere you would exercise, whether you are in college or a member of a health club,” Wetherbee-Metcalf said. “On a busy day, the number of entries into Marino is about 3,900. And that number goes below 3,000 at the end of the first weeks.”
So if you are looking to get in a workout, here are some tips from Wetherbee-Metcalf on how to avoid the large crowds:
• She suggests working out a minimum of three days a week, and trying to do more if you can. If you’re looking to avoid the busiest days, a good schedule would be Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
• The most popular times of the day to workout are during lunchtime and later in the day after work. Off-peak hours are from 8 to 11 a.m., and from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Of course, with Marino open 140 hours a week and Badger and Rosen open 110 hours a week, there is plenty of time during the day and night to get in a workout.
And lifting weights isn’t the only way to get in shape. Northeastern’s robust selection of intramural sports, club sports, and group fitness classes are also great options for staying active.
“The different facets of campus recreation serve different audiences in different ways,” Wetherbee-Metcalf said. “Fitness is a huge program here but it is not just using the machines, it is also using the personal trainers and classes, and the aquatics programs we offer.”
About 5,000 students participate in intramurals at Northeastern each year, and many of them play more than one. The university has about 1,200 teams competing in 26 different sports and tournaments.
Registration for spring intramurals opens at 9 a.m. Monday, Jan. 11, and closes on Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. Offerings this semester include extreme dodgeball, flag football, and kan jam.
More than 1,500 students participate in club sports, and in fall 2015 Northeastern added its 50th sport: taekwondo.
“The best recommendation for anyone who wants to maintain a level of physical activity that will benefit their overall health in the new year is to keep it simple and show up,” said Wetherbee-Metcalf.