Avoiding the freshman 15


The Daily Illini File Photo

Students use the elliptical machines at CRCE. CRCE is just one of many workout options on campus.

By Heather Schlitz, Assistant News Editor

Adjusting to college life can be difficult. With new classes, RSOs and social life taking up your time, it’s easy to skip the gym and indulge in greasy dining hall food and late-night pizza a few too many times.

Finding a form of exercise you enjoy (and a place you enjoy doing it) can make a huge difference in your mental and physical health and can even act as a form of stress relief from a hectic course schedule.

Here are some of the best places to workout on campus, along with some super exclusive, very secret insider tips on how to use them.

Campus Recreation Center East

The smaller of the two gyms on campus, CRCE (pronounced like Cersei from Game of Thrones) is less popular with students, but within walking distance of the Main Quad. It has most of your typical gym equipment with cardio machines, free weights, strength machines etc. There are also basketball and racquetball courts, a track, a jacuzzi and a swimming pool with a waterslide and volleyball net.

Activities and Recreation Center

The ARC is the main gym on campus, with a climbing wall, lap pools, courts, a cycling studio and three stories of cardio equipment, weights, and strength equipment.

The basement floor of the ARC is home to both the free weights and the jacked guys wearing sleeveless shirts and drinking pre-workout. This can be an intimidating place to go if you’re new to working out.

The ARC also has the added benefit of a cafe by the entrance that accepts cafe credits. (The smoothies are great and even better if you ask them to hold the simple syrup.)

Both gyms on campus usually get crowded after classes end at around 4 p.m. and will start emptying out at 7 p.m. If you’re looking for a completely empty gym, don’t get your hopes up. Both gyms are open until midnight and given college students’ unconventional schedules, people will often work out right until closing time.

Japan House and the Arboretum

The Japan House and Arboretum are close to the Flordia Avenue Residence Hall and Pennsylvania Avenue Residence Hall on the south end of campus. Both are great places to go on a run, especially in the spring when the cherry blossoms bloom in the Japan House gardens.

Historic Urbana neighborhood

Yes, taking a few steps off campus won’t kill you. Urbana is a great place to run or cycle, with long, tree-lined roads, nice sidewalks and interesting architecture.

Meadowbrook Park

It’s a bit of a hike from campus, but it’s great for long-run days or cycling. The park has 5 miles of trails, a sculpture garden that changes frequently, flower and herb gardens and acres of prairie land.

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