By: Clare Gallagher – Staff Writer
The RecPlex celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with new equipment and an educational initiative to help students maintain a healthy lifestyle.
On the 10th of each month, there will be a surprise special event, activity or giveaway.
“We wanted to find a way to give back to this community that provides us with so much satisfaction with the job we do day in and day out,” Melissa Longino, director of campus recreation, said.
The first event took place in January, when the Rec staff gave away backpacks to the 10th person to swipe in at every hour. The latest event, called “UP,” was all about compliments. People could stand under a pair of giant headphones and hear a compliment from someone else speaking at the adjoining microphone.
“It was really cool to see because people were visibly happy after, and I could tell it just made their day,” senior Amber Bielunski, a supervisor at the Rec, said.
In addition to these monthly celebrations, the RecPlex also received 32 new pieces of equipment this month, ranging from cardio to weight equipment.
“Per our capital outlay plan, we know which pieces of equipment are coming up for replacement in the specific year,” Longino said. “From there, we research the various equipment lines that each of the vendors currently provide and evaluate the quality, refer to other universities who are currently using the product and our knowledge of what will stand up to the usage needs at UD.”
Some of the new pieces brought in this year replaced older models. For instance, the RecPlex purchased seven updated treadmills, which are well-suited for different types of running.
The Rec also added more pieces of popular equipment, such as two more SPIN bikes and two more ARC trainers. New purchases also include new a hack squat, a leg press and four dumbbell racks.
The two new Precor Stretchtrainers, which enable students to target specific muscles as they stretch, are the first of their kind to be featured at the RecPlex.
“We try to provide a wide array of equipment, so we can met the needs of everyone,” Longino said.
“I was excited there was new equipment to use and try out,” sophomore education major Ryan Schilter said. “I’ve been able to add in new exercises that I didn’t know before.”
In addition to updating its equipment, the RecPlex had its annual educational campaign. This year’s theme was “On Your PATH to 30,” which served to educate students on the importance of getting 30 minutes of exercise every day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The theme started as a challenge among staff members at the Rec last year called “What’s Your 30?” and was so successful the Rec staff decided to expand the initiative to all students. In a student survey, only 27 percent of respondents responded they needed 30 minutes of exercise daily. Many students thought they needed 45 to 120 minutes of exercise daily. These students also said on the survey the number one reason they don’t work out every day is because they do not have time.
Longino said their mission is to make people aware how much a 30-minute investment can benefit their health.
This campaign lasted from Feb. 1 to March 6 with the goal of helping students create a heathy lifestyle habit and raise awareness about the benefits of getting 30 minutes of exercise each day. Students could gain one PATH point per week during this four-week challenge by exercising for at least 30 minutes, four days of the week.
“I initially did it with my roommates because we wanted more PATH points, but I actually found it very helpful in motivating me to work out,” sophomore psychology major Emily Kimble.
Even after the program ended, more students than usual came to the RecPlex.
“There was a constant flow of people, even when the program ended. I notice even in my morning shift at 6 a.m. that more people were still coming in,” Bielunski said. “We weren’t sure what to expect, but we are super excited about how it turned out.”
Over 2,000 people signed up for the “On Your PATH to 30” program and, according to data compiled by the RecPlex, halfway through the program, at least half of participants had earned their PATH points. The directors are still compiling the rest of the data to see how many people completed the whole program.
“It’s important that people are rewarded for a healthy lifestyle,” Bielunski said.
Any student that completed all four weeks and received all the PATH points also received a T-shirt from the RecPlex.
“If you don’t have a heathy body and a healthy mind, you really don’t have all of you to give to your academics, your friends, your family or your work,” Longino said.