Indiana Daily Student

Fight the Freshman 15

There’s so much to worry about going into your freshman year: getting lost, making friends, and the dreaded “Freshman 15.”
Fortunately, IU makes it easy for students to get fit and stay in shape with its two recreational facilities. With tuition, every student pays a mandatory Student Activity Fee, which, among other things, grants every IU student access to workout facilities such as indoor swimming pools, weight rooms, cardio equipment and free group exercise classes with the flash of a student ID.

The School of Public Health, affectionately known by its former initials HPER (pronounced “hyper”), is located on Seventh Street across from the Indiana Memorial Union. The HPER is quite expansive, offering students 12 racquetball/wallyball courts, 10 basketball/volleyball courts, squash courts, an indoor pool with a diving well, an indoor running track and more. The adjacent Woodlawn Tennis Courts are also a part of the HPER facility, as is Woodlawn Field.
 The oldest section of the building dates back to 1917, with its newest addition built in 1961. The HPER is undergoing renovations during the summer, which is tentatively scheduled to be complete by the beginning of the fall semester.

The Student Recreational Sports Center, or SRSC, is the other workout facility on campus. Its location, within a 10 minute walk of the greek houses on North Jordan and most of the dorms in the central neighborhood, makes it a popular workout destination for many students. While the SRSC offers many of the same features as the HPER, including nine racquetball/wallyball courts, five basketball/volleyball courts, an indoor track, an Olympic-sized pool and more, many students prefer the SRSC for the condition of its facilities.


Perhaps the biggest obstacle for freshmen trying to stay fit is trying to maintain focus while surrounded by so many collegiate distractions. After all, it’s much easier after a long day of classes to lounge in your dorm eating junk food than it is to find the motivation to hit the gym.  
Both a music and pre-med student, Madhura Sundararajan manages to find time to exercise while juggling homework, music practice and her social life.
“You just have to make time for it,” she said. “It can be really difficult with the workload, but you have to make time to take care of yourself.”


One way to hold yourself accountable is to take the free group exercise classes available throughout the week at both facilities.
Heather Hamilton has been a group exercise leader for the past four years, leading classes like Step, Cardio Core, Trekking and Circuit Strength.
“All of the classes, with the exception of Step II and III, are good for beginners, and leaders will give you modification options if you are just starting out and need to take it slow,” Hamilton said.
Some group exercise classes, such as yoga and pilates, are available to students at an additional cost.  
With classes like Cardio Kickboxing, Strength Core and Zumba (a workout disguised as a dance party), there’s something for everyone.
Schedules of group exercise classes are available on the IU Campus Recreational Sports website at

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