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Staying Fit on a Budget

by Jake Siewert

Horizon Reporter

The sun hides during winter, days are shorter, and it becomes easier and easier to shrug off the feeling of needing to get out and get active every day.

            However, a few Whatcom Community College students are showing that the harsh, dark days of winter need not prevent you from keeping fit.
            “Gym memberships are expensive,” said Connor De Leeuw, “so, free gym access as a student is an awesome thing to have, and I suggest everyone take advantage of it!”

            De Leeuw likes to fit in his workouts on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays after classes. He finds the on-campus facilities seem to fit his workout style.  His favorite work out is the “deadlift”, which is a brute strength exercise on the shoulders, arms, and back. De Leeuw enjoys the feeling of lifting almost twice his own body weight, then being barely able to walk after his workout.

            “That’s how you know you’ve done good,” he said.

De Leeuw is one of many students who use Whatcom’s recreation facilities that are provided free to students. 
            Autumn Nash likes to stay fit in the winter, but can’t manage to make it to Whatcom’s Pavilion in between classes, so she purchased a membership to one of Bellingham’s popular gyms “City Gym.” Between a busy work schedule, a big class load, and the winter gloom, Nash remains adamant about her fitness throughout the year.
            “It is definitely harder to stay in shape during the winter,” she said, “because instead of doing fun, no-brainer workout activities like biking, swimming and kayaking, I have to take the time each day to go to the gym.”

            Nash tried other ways to stay fit before joining the gym, such as at-home yoga and workout videos but they got boring fast, she said.

            For those who are weary about confusing and pricey gym memberships, Nash offers some helpful advice.

            “Look for coupons and student discounts and it is actually very affordable to join a gym,” she said. “There are lots of non-expensive options that gyms offer for those of us with limited budgets.”

            There are numerous biking and running trails around Bellingham that provide a nice outdoor, independent work-out environment for those who prefer a natural environment to a gym.

            Jonathon Braeburn, 19, likes to run a few miles every day and even has participated in some long distance races in Oregon.

            “My socks sure get wet sometimes,” he said, “but running gets your heart going, and it truly is worth the effort to get out there every day.”

             Whatcom also has an active bike club that plans group rides all the time. Students can find out information about clubs that can help you keep fit this winter in the Student Life Center on the second floor of Syre.
            De Leeuw insists that if you’re going to get fit, then finding a plan that works for your wallet and your body is paramount.
            “An important thing to remember is that working out should be fun,” he said.  “If you aren’t having fun with your fitness routine, you aren’t doing it right and are most likely going to stop. Find something you enjoy and have some fun.”


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