Month: September 2013

How often do you go to the gym?

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Throughout the year the trends of attendance at Ping Recreational Center increase and decrease. Based on the time of the day and year, attendance can be large.

Open 6:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday, Ping Center offers a number of options for students including training machines such as treadmills, ellipticals and weight machines. The center also offers different group classes for free such as zumba, kickboxing, boot camp and spinning.

Each year, around 20,000 students return to Ohio University and can only access one gym for free given they pay tuition. Many have noticed the attendance level to be prone to fluctuate throughout the day and even the year. For example, from the hours of three to five in the afternoon, many students are present at the gym.

“The amount of students throughout the day definitely has hours of larger attendance,” Bradley Parks, Ping Equipment Desk Manager said. “We typically see a lot of students from three to ten at night.”

As the year goes on, the attendance levels become even more dramatic, according to Parks.

“The first two weeks of any semester always see a spike in the number of people at the gym,” Parks said. “With the start of a new school year in the fall and then New Years Resolutions in the spring semester students feel the need to be at the gym.

Parks also said attendance goes up close to spring break because many students are going on vacation.

When polling the audience on Twitter @girlvsgym, Girl vs. Gym asked how often students go to the gym per week and throughout the semester. The responses received were diverse.

“I don’t go to the gym often,” Erika Martinez, @errrrrrrrrika, tweeted. “Maybe a couple of times a month. And yes, I work out less towards the end of the semester.”

Others had a different experience.

“We don’t work out less. We work out more because of the season!” @OUWomensClubSoccer tweeted.

Some don’t go the gym at all.

“I go an impressive zero times (per week),” Camille Davis, @camiberryd, said. “If I had motivation it really falls.”

The lack of attendance at the gym throughout the semester could be attributed to they busy schedules students have. Many do not consider workout out to be equivalent to class or the big paper that is due coming up.

Students are also involved in extra curricular activities that can eat up more of their time. But in the beginning of the semester, there is a hope which leads students to believe that this semester will be different and that they will learn to make the time for a solid fitness schedule

“I think students work out less during the semester because they get stressed because of class,” Morgan Love, Ohio University sophomore said. “They probably work out more in the beginning because they want to avoid the stigma of the freshman fifteen.”


Running in Athens

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Fall is the perfect time of year to run outside. The air is cool, the sun is still out and the leaves changing color make the best view to the passerby. Athens is known for its number of bike and hiking trails but some of the best to explore are near Stroud’s Run State Park. Located on over 2,000 acres, Stroud’s Run provides a number of trails in addition to a scenic view of the lake. The park is open all day every day to runners, hikers, fishermen, etc.

Stroud’s, once home to the Shawnee Indians, now hosts a number of travelers from all over Ohio and remains one of Athens’ biggest summer and spring attractions to Ohio University students.

The seven trails to run at the park are called Finge Rock, Rockhouse, South Lakeview, North Lakeview, Homestead, Vista Point, and Pioneer Cemetery. The trails range from 0.4 to three miles long with North Lakeview being the longest.

If running isn’t your trail experience of choice, the park also allows bikes and horseback riding.

Stroud's Run in fall
Stroud’s Run in fall

Mixing it up a little

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Do you ever get bored at the gym? How often should you be expected to run on the treadmill, do three sets of crunches, etc? According to an article by the American Psychology Association, playing sports for exercise is not only helpful to the body, but it also trains the mind in discipline and competition.

“Regular activity can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Plus, staying active helps people maintain their strength, flexibility and endurance as they age,” according to the article. also gave good reasons why sports help an athlete physically.

“The physical benefits of exercise and sports are evident on the inside and outside of your body. Physical exercise helps you to maintain a healthy weight, strengthens your muscles, improves flexibility and builds an efficient cardiovascular system. All of these benefits contribute to the larger benefit of helping to prevent ailments such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and stroke. Exercise also has an anti-aging effect on your appearance that will help to keep you looking younger than your age.”

So the next time you get bored with your workout routine, grab some buddies and go play a game of basketball. Or go outside and check out the volleyball court.

Reader challenge

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Now for the dreaded question, how much do you work out? There is much speculation about how much is too much and if you are doing too little.

Each school year, I hear multiple students talk about how often they are planning on going to the gym. Usually there is a huge rush to Ping the first few weeks of the year and then the numbers dwindle.

So this is my challenge to you. Comment, email, or tweet to me @girlvsgym about your experience with working out, how often you do it, and any goals you may have. Maybe you forgo the gym in favor of a different work out method. Do you get too busy with school work to get gym time in? Help me help you!

Dancing into fall

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Thankfully fall is creeping in which means that running outside is possible without collapsing in a pool of sweat. I don’t know about you but when I run I need to have a little music to get in the mood to run. But the debate on running with or without music has been a long standing one in the world of running.

For many, running with music decreases the volume of the little voice in your head telling you how much effort the run is taking and can increase your athletic performance up to 15 percent, according to Run Addicts Running Blog. The flow of the rhythm takes the mind off of the physical challenge. OU runners weighed in on the issue. 

“I would get really bored (without music),” Kelly Gifford, OU senior, said. “And it (music) keeps me motivated.” 

Others believe the opposite.

“I’ve never run with music. I like listening to nature,” Kate Roan, OU senior said. “The whole reason of running is to enjoy what’s around me. I have to listen to myself breathe.” 

According to a blog for The Guardian, a majority of runners polled believe that running with music helps their performance. When tested by John Moores University, 12 bikers listening to music of their own choice for 30 minutes. When the trial was repeated, the music tempo was increased 10 percent without the riders’ knowledge. The results showed that the riders’ heart rate and distance decreased when the tempo was slower and increased with it was faster. 

So it’s up to you. Whether you run with or without music, at least you are running. 


G vs. G


The balance of work and play

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Hello Readers!

Welcome to Girl vs. Gym!

Hopefully you are coming to the site to read about the best places in Athens, OH to get in a quality work out and the food to stay healthy. As a college student, it can be difficult to stay on a regular fitness routine when so many of us are running around taking classes, being involved in organizations on campus, and possibly working a part-time job.

Worry no more dear readers because it is going to be my job to help you find the best way to be fit and healthy while on a time budget. As we go through this journey together I’ll do my best to give you the low-down on the best free classes to take at Ping, what local foods can add to your healthy living, and much more. Maybe I’ll learn a little something too!

I also want to take the time on this first post to encourage you to communicate with me on new and exciting fitness activities in the area, any questions you may have or suggestions for work outs or posts. Make sure to follow the blog on Twitter at @girlvsgym for work outs and recipes I find along the way.


G vs. G