Needless to say, 90-degree days filled with a fresh onslaught of homework do not exactly scream, “Go exercise!” Nevertheless, many of us do it anyway, in a stubborn display of masochism or dedication. If you are looking to break into the exercise scene on campus as a freshman or as a senior, here are some good places to start.
Andersen Fitness Center
Just called “the gym” by anyone sane, the fitness center offers a surprisingly wide variety of athletic equipment and machines. Most people tend to gravitate toward the cardio machines, especially once there are two feet of snow and ice on the ground outside. These include Woodway treadmills (softer on the joints!) and several types of ellipticals.
There is also a core mat large enough to support eight to 12 people, depending on how cozy you want to get. It can get a bit grimy during the winter months, when sludge melts off shoes and potentially onto the backs of unsuspecting gym-goers. If you have a good attitude about it, however, and think of it as a pleasant jolt awake, you will go far.
The free-weight areas attract people with varying degrees of experience, though during prime pre-dinner hours, it can certainly seem inaccessible. During these hours, be wary of the nearby treadmill; the reverberations from people dropping barbells can be nearly catastrophic.
Bacon Field House Track
This 200-meter indoor track offers a workout space for athletes and non-athletes alike. Although, as anyone familiar with indoor tracks knows, it is wildly stuffy, it is convenient in a pinch if it’s raining and you want to get in some quick sprints (or, as some people heroically do, 30-minute runs in tight circles).
The 400-meter outdoor track behind the Freeman Athletic Center is an appealing alternative for most to the indoor track. Newly renovated and beautiful, this track is an underutilized resource.
Just don’t fall in the steeplechase pit.
Campus Loop (1.5 miles)
If you are more inclined to go for a real run, as many Wesleyan students seem to be, the campus loop is the most accessible option. Trailing through the main part of campus, down High St., then Washington Terrace, then Vine St., then Church St., this course is reasonably flat. The stretch down Vine St. is the only potentially tricky bit, involving street crossing that involves keeping your wits about and not losing yourself to your headphones.
The campus loop can be extended to go through Indian Hill Cemetery, which brings the distance up about a quarter of a mile, and the intensity up two-fold.
Indian Hill Cemetery
Indian Hill, aside from boasting absolutely gorgeous sunsets, harbors an elevation gain that will leave you weak in the knees. With an uphill that lasts for over a quarter mile, the Washington St. cemetery is perfect for hill repeats or for taking a longer run from “boring” to “miserable.”
Long Lane Loop (2-3 miles)
A run past Freeman will take you to a treasure trove of possibilities. After you turn from Cross St. to Long Lane, you can continue to one of several loops. A left on Wadsworth St. and a left on Pine St. to complete the loops is approximately two miles. If you continue on Long Lane to take a left on Long Hill Road and a left on Pine St., you will have run approximately three miles if you complete the loop.
A right on Wadsworth will take you to Wadsworth State Park, a magical land you should explore (and get lost in) at least once.
A lesser known exercise option is the Freeman pool. It is open for short periods in the morning, early afternoon, and early evening, and swim lessons are available during many of the other hours.
WesBAM! offers fitness classes run by Wesleyan students. Types of classes range from yoga to cardio kickboxing and generally cost approximately $5.00. These classes are a great way to connect with other students, offering a more social bent to sweating and grunting that might turn off potential friends in other contexts.
Unbeknownst to many, Wesleyan offers a wide selection of physical education courses, all of which can be found in the “Other” section of WesMaps. This semester’s courses include the expected, such as Fitness and Swimming, right along with the more unusual, such as Indoor Technical Climbing and Sculling.
Gym classes are a good way to get ungraded credit for trying out something new. Sadly, each class is only worth .25 credits and only one full class’ worth of credit can count toward graduation.
If the on-campus options don’t cut it for you, you always have Middletown. For those not afraid of a little sweat, Bikram yoga classes are regularly held at 208 Main St. If you’re looking for something a little more active, Green Street Arts Center is the place for you. There, you can take martial arts classes in both conventional karate and the more adventurous capoiera, a Brazilian form of fitness that incorporates music.