Opinion: New Year's workout resolutions don't have to end in January

ASU students should take advantage of the SDFC's amenities

The cliché phrase “new year, new me” is commonly said around the beginning of every new year to describe a person’s intention to alter their current behavior. Whether it’s in reference to changing a bad habit, exercising more or something else, the phrase gets people thinking about things they would like to change about themselves.

Although the first six and a half weeks of 2018 have come and gone, ASU students who may have wanted to make exercise a more consistent part of their lifestyles but never got around to it still can and should by taking advantage of the fitness centers available to them. 

ASU's Sun Devil Fitness Centers are open every day, excluding some holidays, on each of the four campuses and offer various outlets for students to be active. 

As a student at ASU, it will never be easier to go to the gym. Access to the facilities is included in student fees, so students never have to pay extra charges. 

The downtown Phoenix SDFC, for example, has four floors that includes a large weight room, rooms for specific classes, two full-size basketball courts and a rooftop pool. 

“There were a lot of people (coming to the facility) at the beginning of the semester,” said Carlos Reynoso, a fitness supervisor and group fitness instructor at the downtown Phoenix SDFC, who has worked there for close to a year. “There were the usual people, but a lot of unknown faces. As the weeks went by, it sort of died down.”

That tends to be a trend with most people, not just college students. The new year rolls around and everyone is gung-ho about working out. They’ll go to the gym consistently for the first few weeks before falling back into their previous routines and making excuses about why they can’t find time for the gym.

While it can be difficult to manage a busy workload and social life and still find time to work out, it’s not impossible. The SDFC facilities open fairly early in the mornings and stay open as late as 11 p.m. to accommodate both the early birds and night owls.

“I feel like it can be realistic (for students to workout consistently) in the way of time management,” Reynoso said. “Once you get in your rhythm, it gets easier and easier. Most people say they don’t have at least 30 minutes, but they probably have at least 30 or 45 minutes to give to a daily activity. I currently have, technically, four jobs and can get to the gym (every day).”

Some people may feel judged or intimidated at the gym, whether it be because of their workout regimen, physical appearance or athletic ability. 

People don’t start out bench pressing or squatting with multiple plates on each side right out of the gate, and that’s how it is supposed to be. Even the great bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger had to build his way up to becoming Mr. Olympia.  

That's not to say everyone should strive to be a professional bodybuilder, but everyone does start somewhere — even if it's with the five-pound dumbbells.

"We like to get to know people who come to the gym," Reynoso said. "If they’re intimidated, make them feel welcome, not just a professional example but as a friend when they need it.”

In addition to improved physical condition, working out can be a great way for some students to manage stress and enhance their mental health, as well. 

“If people used (the SDFC) more often, they’d be less stressed,” Reynoso said. “There are a lot of people from downtown, but not as many as we’d like to see. We get to know different people in the atmosphere. We try to provide as much as we can.”

As 2018 progresses, there is still plenty of time for students to exploit all the SDFC has to offer and create good exercise habits that can be used in the future as they age and become working adults. 

Just because New Year's resolutions have come and gone doesn't mean students still can't begin to form healthy habits.

Reach the columnist at Steven.Slobodzian@asu.edu or follow @PSlobodzianASU on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors. 

Want to join the conversation? Send an email to opiniondesk.statepress@gmail.com. Keep letters under 500 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.

Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.