Fitness with Finesse: Where's the Gym?


Ladies, we all know there are some key reasons we choose the University of Florida beyond the obvious academics and athletics: the beach is close by, the sun is hot, and the students are even hotter. Fitness with Finesse is your guide to a college experience that is healthy, fit, and perfect for your Gator Girl lifestyle! I’ll continue to give you workout tips, tasty recipes, and my own tricks for keeping your Florida beach body all year long.

Who am I? My name is Valerie, and I’m a second-year journalism student who balances my obsession with yoga and treadmills with an unrequited love of food. I manage to make college life work for my body, and I want to help you do the same! In the next few weeks, you’ll be hearing more about my quirks and fitness tips, and I would love to hear about yours, too!

As someone who’s been there before, I know that the start of school is ever so slightly chaotic – classes, friends, and fun mean there is no time for working out, right? Not so fast! Here’s a couple quick ideas to keep you in shape as we start the fall semester off right:

1. Check out the gym. Seriously. 
The first time I got lost my freshman year was after a failed attempt to find the gym, but I promise you that the university has two gyms just for us, and you should definitely find them as soon as possible! Freshmen, you will quickly learn that the gym is the perfect place to be; meeting new people is easy when you both just finished a killer interval workout, or you could bring a whole group to make fitness extra fun. We already know about Southwest and its beautiful, shiny self, but the Student Rec Center was just redone over the summer and looks great! There’s nothing like new equipment to get you motivated for an intense workout. Did I mention the treadmills all have televisions now? 

2. Don’t just pencil it in. 
If you’re anything like me, your planner is already filled with meetings and events, but don’t forget to make time for a quick workout. Got a free morning or an empty afternoon every week? Don’t sleep in too much. Grab an extra hour of Zzz’s, but then get to work! For me, a simple 20-minute gym session after class can make all the difference. Make it a priority to add fitness to your schedule, and you won’t have to worry later in the year. 

3. Take a class.  
Did you know that UF RecSports offers a ridiculous variety of group fitness classes every day? Of course you did. Have you ever taken one? You should. These aren’t your average, ‘70s style “aerobics” classes either; I’m talking kickboxing, power yoga, and even cycling classes – sounds much better, right? Bring a friend or make a friend, the classes are offered throughout the day at both gym locations. Just make sure you sign up a day early because these opportunities for major fitness go fast. 

4. Go explore. 
I may have been too embarrassed to admit I was lost freshman year, but I definitely got a great view of UF campus. Walk, run, or even bike around campus and our beloved Gainesville (bring a map!). You won’t regret it. Also check out Lake Wauburg and Paynes Prairie for a fun weekend trip of hiking or swimming.

College is all about the famous “time management,” so make sure fitness remains a top priority! Check back next time for the latest ways to stay in shape at the University of Florida.