Students work to shed winter weight gain

By Kyle Moncelle

To some, spring break is an opportunity to earn some desperately needed money. To others, it is a chance to get away from the pressures of school and relax. Still others, however, have only one thing on their minds when it comes to spring break – fitting into their swimsuits.

“I would definitely say that January through March is our busiest time of the year,” said Jenni Hoch, operations manager at the Mettler Center. “People are getting ready for spring break and want to fit into their summer and spring break clothes.”

The Mettler Center, which provides personal training, exercise classes, workout equipment, physical therapy and nutrition counseling, recently hosted its second annual Spring Break Challenge.

Hoch said the competition had 28 participants squaring off against one another for a chance to win a spring break-themed prize: a $2,500 trip voucher to Suzie Davis travel.

“The voucher amount was based on the cost of an all-inclusive seven-day trip for two to Cancun, Mexico,” Hoch said. “(The winner) can use it however he likes – all in one trip or broken up into several smaller ones.”

The winner, Michael Saverau, was drawn randomly from the pool of participants who attended the required amount of small group personal training that the challenge put the participants through.

“The small group personal training program that the Spring Break Challenge participants went through was a six-week program of twice-weekly sessions with one of our personal trainers, in a group of between two and five people,” Hoch said. “They met for 30 minutes for a strength training program and then were told to do between 30 and 90 minutes of cardio, three-to-five days a week.”

The participants also kept a food and progress log during the challenge, which lasted six weeks, and were given pre- and post-fitness assessments to track their progress, Hoch said. They were required to attend 10 of the 12 small group sessions in order to be entered into a random drawing for the grand prize.

“All participants also received the Mettler Transformation Diet, which includes guidelines and healthy ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks,” Hoch said.

But the Spring Break Challenge participants aren’t the only people on campus who are gearing up for spring break. Both the Mettler Center and the Intramural Physical Education Building (IMPE) have seen increased usage since the end of holiday break.

“There’s a lot more people (at IMPE) now that it’s closer to break,” said Liz Thompson, freshman in LAS. “I go like five or six times a week, and I’ve noticed a definite increase in the amount of people working out there.”

“The busiest times, for us, are September, at the beginning of the year when people first get back to school and are getting into the swing of their classes, and then again from February through spring break,” said Jayne DeLuce, associate director of Campus Recreation. “As soon as the students get back from their holiday break, we go into our second busiest point.”

DeLuce attributes the sudden rush of students exercising after the holiday break to the weather and classes. Students who normally exercise outside are forced to bring their activities inside because of the bad weather, she said. She also said post-holiday resolutions are an additional factor that brings patrons in.

Hoch said the crowd changes after spring break.

“The crowd is definitely smaller after spring break,” Hoch said. “People figure that they’ve gotten through the break and are focusing on finals and finishing up the school year.”

DeLuce also said finals are one of the reasons IMPE use decreases after spring break.

“Part of it has to do with the weather, since it’s nicer the students are going back outside to exercise,” she said. “Also, students get ingrained in their classes. They get wrapped up with their finals and their end of the year activities at that point.”

Although exercise is an important factor to weight loss, Hoch said it isn’t the most important thing.

“Things like watching your diet are key ways to lose weight quickly,” Hoch said. “Making the number of calories you burn higher than the number that you’re taking in will make you slim down.”

Although moderate weight loss is healthy, going overboard on dieting and exercise can lead to serious health problems.

“A safe weight loss is one to two pounds per week, maybe three if you’re overweight,” Hoch said. “To lose 10 pounds in a month is realistic. 30 pounds isn’t a goal that you can safely attain in a month.”