HPER draws more students with new exercise equipment

Faith Moldan

Faith Moldan

New exercise equipment and the desire to keep off the freshman fifteen had more students filing into the Wellness Center this fall.

The Wellness Center added five ellipticals, three treadmills, a recumbent bike and stair-stepper to its array of workout machines. These machines cost the Wellness Center a total of $30,000, but are free for students to use with their student IDs. The center has also extended weight room hours to include 1 to 3 p.m.

Wellness Coordinator Shari Landmark said that the weight room hours were extended because it was being used a lot and was crowded much of the time. The new equipment was added during the first couple of weeks of school. The delivery of the stair-stepper was delayed because of the many hurricanes in Florida, where it was shipped from.

Landmark said that there has been a significant increase in traffic coming through the building. Participation numbers are up as well, with 2,500 extra visits in September and 5,000 more scans compared to last year at this time. Numbers for the pool and weight room jumped in September too, from 188 to 868 in the pool and 1,299 to 2,605 in the weight room.

Christee Staufer, a freshman health promotion major from Pierre, who works at the Wellness Center, said that she has seen an increase in the number of people coming to use the equipment.

“A lot of people enjoy the EFX machines. They’re our busiest,” Staufer said.

Freshman Kaleena Sanito, an apparel merchandising major from Deadwood, said that she uses the equipment about two to three times a week.

“It’s really nice. I use it to keep off the freshman fifteen,” Sanito said.

Rich Derouchey, a dairy manufacturing major from Mitchell, agreed.

“I enjoy the new equipment. It gives students something to do on weekends,” Derouchey said.

The Wellness Center also offers programs for students, such as Fight the Fat and Take the X out of Xmas. These programs encourage students to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating right.

Fight the fat currently has 33 participants, Landmark said.

Take the X out of Xmas begins Dec. 1 and runs through Dec. 15.

Students can contact the service desk at 688-6415 with any questions about using the equipment, hours of service and programs offered.