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UAlbany's Exercise Equipment Comes up Short

By Max Weissman

We are now nearly two months into the new year, the time when New Year’s resolutions are put to the test, assuming they were kept through January. If you are like me then, no matter how cliché it is, I set resolutions for myself.

One resolution that always seems to sneak onto my list is to try to spend more time in the gym and being all-around healthier. With that being said, I don’t believe the school’s facilities help anyone in trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Last semester I pushed myself to go to the gym at least four times a week, but I never realized how much of a time commitment it would really be. The school lacks sufficient equipment for everyone who wants to use it, causing long waits and discouraging some from consistent exercise.

Four days a week isn’t a lot, and my workout schedule at home in the summertime would only take an hour at most. At school, I found myself spending a minimum of an hour and a half in the gym for each workout session.

Half an hour might not sound like a huge difference, but when I am getting six hours of sleep on a good night, half an hour can determine if I will actually wake up to my alarm the next morning.

To the school’s credit, online they do have statistics about what times are busiest. I have used this before and like most other people, it just doesn’t fit my schedule between classes, work, homework, and clubs that I participate in.

I’m sure I’m not the only one forced to try and wedge health into my schedule. However, it shouldn’t be that difficult for anyone.

I often find myself standing awkwardly while waiting up to ten minutes for weights due to the small sizes of the gyms.

The two quad gyms get very crowded very fast, unless you want to make the ten-minute walk in the cold to work out in SEFCU, which like the quads is often crowded. The school has a total of 17,944 students who are enrolled here, and only three available gym areas for people who live on campus. For the people who don’t live in one of the very expensive school apartments as an upperclassman, your only option is the SEFCU gym.

When visiting colleges in high school, I still remember one of the big things that most of them would brag about was the size and easy access to the gym, and how they promote healthy living.

At this point, just about everyone knows that a part of mental health is keeping at least a little active, even if that is just going to the gym to walk on the treadmill every other day.

I will be the first one to say that the gym isn't much fun and there are a lot of other options for exercise. One of those substitutes that I personally enjoy is playing pickup basketball on the weekends.

If you have ever been in the basketball gyms on the weekend, you would think half the school is there. There simply isn’t enough room, not enough balls, really, not enough of anything. There are almost 18,000 students enrolled at this school and we have three basketball courts; for reference, William and Mary enrolls only 6,000 students, a third of the student population of the University at Albany, and yet they boast the same number of courts.

With every year being designated “the biggest freshman class,” I think that in order to be a university that people can continue to enjoy, and one which promotes student health and happiness, we need to expand and improve everyone’s access to a healthier lifestyle.

The University must invest some of its constant construction towards extending health and exercise resources in a way that is proportional to the size of the student body and can more effectively meet the needs and demands of students seeking to incorporate exercise into their lives.

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