As many students enter college, a new environment offers exciting new opportunities for independence and growth. Unfortunately, college can also bring out new stressors such as tough classes and responsibilities without parents to help. While living with parents, students often take their home-cooked, healthy meals for granted. This is something they fail to appreciate until they are forced to face the dreaded “freshmen 15” after eating fast food day after day. Fortunately, for students at the University of Florida there are facilities in place to combat a world where fast food is a way of life and sedentary days in class seem like they will never end. UF encourages its students to live a healthy, active lifestyle through its many unique athletic facilities including two state of the art gyms, a beautiful stadium, and a large recreational center. All these areas are open for student use with hours designed to fit a college lifestyle.
Southwest Recreational Center
Southwest Recreational Center is a favorite among most University of Florida students due to its size and numerous amenities. This 140,000 square foot facility has something to keep every student coming back for more. The gym offers two levels of cardio machines all equipped with personal televisions from stair steppers to treadmills and everything in between. If you prefer running on a track but want skip the heat of the outdoors, Southwest also offers an indoor track. For those looking to bulk up, the facility includes a huge weight room with countless machines guaranteed to maximize muscle gains. If you are feeling tense after a tough sweat session, Southwest also includes its very own massage therapy rooms to help reduce muscle stress. If you are looking for a friendly game to burn off some steam, the gym includes six indoor basketball courts as well as six indoor racquetball courts. To keep the healthy vibe flowing, a smoothie bar offers the perfect post workout snack. There truly is something for everyone here.
Student Recreational Center
More conveniently located than Southwest Recreational Center is the Student Recreation, Center which can be found in the heart of campus. This facility takes away any workout excuse from students living on campus as it is only a short walk away from almost all dormitories. The location sacrifices little opportunities to get fit as the facility also includes a cardio area as well as a weight lifting section. The center includes a basketball court, five racquetball courts, as well as a spacious outdoor pool perfect for staying cool and getting fit. If you are looking to grab a meal after a hard workout, the gym is conveniently located next to Chomp It and Moe’s. This gym’s central location and multiple amenities makes it a favorite among students looking to grab a quick workout without any need for transportation.
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Spending Saturday nights in The Swamp is a favorite fall past time of almost every University of Florida student, making this next workout spot particularly exciting. Students looking to put in a workout with a view are often found running stadiums or making up their own unique workout thanks to the set up of The Swamp. The stadium often holds 90,000 screaming fans, making it large enough to accommodate large groups getting fit together. Students often hold their own boot camps here to help encourage and teach less experienced students. The Swamp is open almost everyday in coordination with Gator football events. If you work up an appetite at the stadium, Gator Corner Dining is just across the street.
Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex
One of the most diverse facilities on campus is the Broward Outdoor Recreation Complex. The facility is located on the Southeast edge of campus making it a favorite for the students living in surrounding dormitories. A parking garage is adjacent to the complex allowing access for students living off campus to participate as well. The complex itself consists of several regulation sand volleyball courts, multiple basketball courts, as well as numerous tennis courts. In addition to these, the facility is unique thanks to its skate park complete with ramps and rails as well as a roller hockey rink. The area also houses an equipment checkout building allowing any student with a valid student ID to enjoy the complex. After breaking a sweat, students are able to cool off at the Broward pool or grab a bite to eat at the Broward dining center, both located right next to the complex.
The University of Florida has taken every opportunity possible to encourage the health of its students through the design of these facilities. Though these centers offer something for every student, there are many other complexes available for students to stay active without the need for a gym membership. Forget every excuse and drop some stress and pounds at any of these areas and you will not regret it!