Hampton University

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Student Center Fitness Center Welcomed Back

The second and third floors of the HU Student Center will have more foot traffic. And they will be happy feet, no doubt, since the re-opening of the HU Fitness Center in February.

After it closed in December, between 80 and 100 students graced the facility for the Feb. 4 re-opening, said Recreation Specialist Boyd Jamison.

Flyers were posted in the Student Center to announce the re- opening, but passersby and word of mouth spread the news even faster, Jamison said.

"Some people kind of walked by and said, 'oh, I didn't know you were open,' " he said.

Justin Morrissette

Recreation Specialist Boyd Jamison

Treadmills, dumbbells, stationary bicycles, weights, stair master machines and more are available, along with an indoor track on the third floor. Hours for the center are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. to 6 pm., and Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Last December, the center closed due to required modifications to enhance the overall serviceability of the equipment and renovations, Student Activities Director Sharon Trabbold said.

With the re-opening, Trabbold said it was imperative to revamp everything.

"I wanted to make sure the facility was safe for our students and repairs needed to be made to bring about the full potential of the facility. We repositioned equipment near the windows so there could be a view thus enhancing the interior design," Trabbold said. "We want the students to be in a totally healthy environment. We want them healthy in mind, body and spirit, and to utilize this facility in every aspect, including the certified trainer."

The latter reference is of Jamison, the fitness center's new hire. A retired marine, former Gold's Gym trainer and 15-year competitive body builder, Jamison said his goal for the fitness center is to help students develop a healthy lifestyle.

"My main goal is to teach them about fitness, about working out the right way," Jamison said. "Health and fitness are a lifestyle. It's not a thing you do today and put it up tomorrow."

Before the fitness center closed last year, the equipment needed repairs and proper maintenance. Now, all faulty equipment has been fixed, including new machine cables and seat cushions.

"We're back up to 100 percent," Jamison said.

HU Senior LaJoy Williams was a fitness center student worker in 2004, and says the center has done a metamorphosis. On a recent visit to work out in the new facility, she thanked Jamison for the improvements.

"Thank you for keeping it closed and then fixing everything. I'm impressed," Williams said.

Other HU students missed using the facility as a pastime.

"There was nothing else to do. Since it was closed you would have to go to your room or do something else social," said HU Sophomore Arron Monday, who came to the fitness center the same day it re-opened.

"This is two, three or four hours where I can spend my day," Monday said.

HU Junior Tony Brock said he and other students were disappointed when the fitness center was closed.

"Every day I came up here to see if it was open," said Brock, adding that he now plans to come work out every chance he gets.

Future plans for the gym include more of an equipment variety for females, like smaller dumbbells and weights, Jamison said.

"I want to get the females in here and make them feel comfortable," he said. "Women aren't going to come if they feel intimidated."

For college aged females and males, an inactive lifestyle can lead to obesity and a slew of health problems, studies show. High blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are all linked to being overweight. According to a 2007 study published on sciencedaily.com, people who maintain an active lifestyle as they age, gain less weight.

The study, conducted by Paul Williams of the U. S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, also stated getting people to commit to a vigorous and active lifestyle while young and lean would help reduce the country's obesity epidemic. For example, women between 18-25 gained about two pounds annually if they ran less than 15 miles per week.

Jamison agrees that health and fitness are futuristic.

"I hope to incorporate (fitness) into their lifestyle," he said, "so when they (students) leave here in four years they don't quit."

-Leha Byrd