Campus News

Staying Fit at Shenandoah University

By Clay Dubberly


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Many freshman come to college with legitimate fears in mind, such as having a weird roommate, worrying about how your family and pet are doing without you, or if you have what it takes to succeed. One other fear is gaining weight — the freshman 15. Or freshman 15 you’ve been gaining for two years. Whatever it is, it’s a viable fear, but nonetheless one that can be overcome.

Shenandoah University makes it easy to choose your lifestyle. Do you want to see a concert? What kind? Classical? Jazz? Go and do it. Want to see a dance? Go ahead. Do you want a buffet everyday? Go to the Cafe. A burger or salad? Both are offered. Do you want to work out in a gym or in a beautiful outdoor environment? You choose.

It might seem that gaining weight is inevitable, or that if you’ve already gotten it, it’ll never go away. That’s not true. For both those that haven’t experienced the freshman 15 or gaining weight in general and want to avoid it and those that have, the answer is the same: eat healthier and go to the gym.  


Photo by Harley Ryan

One of the biggest fears for beginners is just getting themselves to the gym. The Brand Student Center (BSC) Fitness Room offers resources to help students get in shape. There are treadmills, exercise bicycles, and even an indoor rower to help burn fat and increase stamina. Students can also pay thirty dollars for a six week program called SuFiT, where SuFiT certified trainers lead you through personalized, one-on-one training. You can sign up by emailing


Photo by Harley Ryan

I completed the program last year, and it helped bring my running time down substantially and I also was able to lift more weight. Having a personal trainer helps you keep track of your progress as well as avoiding skipping gym day, because, well, you paid for it. But if the gym isn’t for you, you can do outdoor workouts. Even running one lap around campus per day is great for you, and you can stop in between to do pushups or crunches.

What I do sometimes is run one or two laps around campus, starting near Funkhouser/Gore dormitory, then along the sidewalk to Goodson Chapel, then left past the Brand Student Center, then pass the tennis courts and in front of Reubush and in front of University Inn then back to Funk/Gore. At each street turn I’ll stop to do pushups, and then in between I’ll sometimes stop to do squats or burpees. I vary it up a little each time.

Another thing you can try doing is running for twenty minutes per day or sprinting a short distance, and then doing a mix between pushups and situps for another twenty. Either way, SU offers a wide variety of means to stay fit, and students are at no shortage of creative ways to push themselves physically, and mentally. All you need to do is be consistent and proactive.  

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