Exercise area features fitness equipment outdoors

Kevin MacDonald uses the University's new outdoor fitness equipment on the intramural fields, which is part of the UMove initiative. Becca Magrino // Staff Photographer

Nestled near the Hecht and Stanford dorms, a new exercise area offers the essentials of an indoor gym with the feeling of being outdoors.

The recently completed and currently nameless fitness area is located next to the Hecht-Stanford dining hall. There will be a dedication ceremony on Monday at 4 p.m. The idea for the fitness area was part of the university’s “U Move” initiative to encourage students to be active and live healthy lifestyles.

“Basically what it is, it’s a physical activity promotion,” said Anthony Musto, director of fitness programs at the Wellness Center. “We just want to get people to start thinking about being more active and give them ways to become more active.”

The area allows outdoor enthusiasts to exercise with gym equipment while not having to stay indoors to do so.

“Given the nice weather we have down here and the popularity of outdoor fitness equipment coming up in parks and different community locations, we decided that it’d be wise for us to invest in a little area where people can do resistance training, take advantage of the outdoors and add maybe a little twist to give people the opportunity to become active,” Musto said.

The completion of the area marked the achievement of one of the platforms that was part of Student Government (SG) President Bhumi Patel’s campaign.

“It’s been a platform for as long as we’ve been in office, and it’s part of an overall goal to provide opportunities to live a healthy lifestyle on campus,” said Adam Orshan, SG press secretary. “One of our big goals is trying to make sure that campus life is always a healthy option, and this is a way to do that.”

The area near the intramural fields was chosen for the fitness equipment because the space was covered with trees and wasn’t being used, providing an opportunity to use the available space efficiently.

“What we wanted to do was put it in a space where we can utilize the space without jumping into intramural space,” Musto said. “We took space that wasn’t being utilized and turned it into a functional area.”

Orshan finds the location suitable because of its central and convenient location for students.

“It’s an area where a lot of students are, it’s visible, it’s easily accessible to students and it just seemed like the perfect place to put an outdoor fitness center,” he said.

The fitness area provides a place for students to exercise after playing sports or incorporate laps around the fields to their workout.

“People can combine walking laps or jogging laps around the intramural field with doing the weight training circuit,” Musto said.

The area is complete with a rubberized material covering that is good for stretching on, machines  with adjustments allowing users to change the resistance and an area for doing dips and leg raises. The equipment includes a leg press machine, chest press machine, shoulder press, pull-up machine, biceps machine and pull-up bars. According to Musto, the equipment cost about $4,000 a piece.

All users must have their Cane Card with them when using the facility.

Senior Elizabeth Foley hasn’t used the fitness area yet, but she appreciates the option to do training outdoors.

“I think it’s really cool that they put a fitness area outside, especially because the wellness center can get very busy,” she said. “It can make it so that when you exercise outside you can run in-between and do interval training.”