I don’t know much, but I do know something. And no, it’s not that I love you, despite what the 1980s song we are all too young to know suggests.(For reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=927OE8U8PYw)
I know that:
- Over 1000 new students (maybe you?) will be moving into StFX in September; that
- As a student, you may have never seen or experienced campus life before; and that
- Some of you will want to know where you can go to get in a good workout.
I may not be the most athletic— or athletic at all really— but I DO know some of tips and tricks for working out around campus.
Places to Work Out
The Wellness Centre– The Wellness Centre is located in the Keating Centre. If you go in the main doors that lead to the café and main arena, turn left and head down a long hallway, you will soon see windows looking into The Wellness Centre. The doors to go work out are just past the windows, or you can continue a little further to check out the bulletin board that shows the schedule of classes that are offered in the studio next door.
The Pool– StFX has a large pool, located in the Oland Centre, which students are free to use. If you go in the outside doors where the Keating Centre and the Oland Centre connect you will find yourself at the pool desk. Continue into the changing room and past the shower s to get to the pool deck. Lane swimming, recreational swim times, and family swim are all offered so be sure to check out the pool schedule on the StFX Recreation website to make sure you’re going for what you want. There are also water aerobics classes offered for a fee.
The Turf/Track– StFX has a great outdoor turf field and track around it. The turf free to use as long as no one else (like a team) is currently on it— so grab some friends and toss around a ball or frisbee. The track is also open to the public as long as there isn’t a game currently happening on the field. Sometimes they will even clear snow off some of the lanes on the track for use in the winter.
Memorial Field/Green Space/Stairs–In addition to the turf field, StFX also has Memorial Field— located behind Bishops Hall— tons of green space around campus where you can toss a football or work out in other ways, and the stairs around campus are sure to give you a workout without even trying! These spaces are great for lazy weekends or simply a way to feel good about yourself while walking to your Monday 8:15am (you’ll want on excuse not to go to the gym those days).
Skating– In the winter, free skate is offered daily on the auxiliary arena in the Keating Centre. There is a hallway just past the washrooms that leads to the rink. You can also run around the rink when it gets too cold to run outside. This offers a great outlet on those snowy days when you don’t want a traditional workout.
The Landing/Trails– The Landing, located on Main Street past the train tracks, is a popular running spot in Antigonish. The gravel path spans 2.5km one-way and provides spectacular views of the water and greenery. If you have access to a car, the Fairmount Ridge Trail can be found about 10km off the road past the hospital. It provides a variety of trail types for all experience levels. From shorter trails for a Saturday walk, or full 11km hikes up the terrain.
Squash Courts– The Oland Centre supplies squash racquets you can rent out to learn the sport or just have some friends with some friends. The Squash Courts are in rooms alongside the main basketball court, but you’ll need to stop by the Pool Desk first to get the equipment.
Auxiliary Basketball Court– Like the squash courts, the auxiliary basketball court is also free for students to use. Grab some friends for some three-on-three, or go by yourself to practice your jump shot! You don’t even need your own basketball- just stop by the Pool Desk and they can hook you up with the equipment you need.
Going to the Wellness Centre/Pool
Going to work out in a new place can be intimidating at first if you aren’t familiar with the process. Luckily I’m here and, surprisingly, I’ve gone to the gym so I can share the knowledge I’ve learned in the past four years.
- When you come into the Keating Centre the first place you’ll want to go is the Pool Desk.
- From the doors between the Keating Centre and the Oland Centre- the Pool Desk is immediately in front of you when you walk in the doors
- From the Oland Centre doors that lead directly to the main gym- turn right through the doors, the hallway will turn left and immediately there will be a door frame on your right; go through those doors and down the hall until you reach the Pool Desk.
- From the Keating Centre main doors by the café- turn left through the door and past the stairs, you’ll go down the main hallway, past windows looking into the Wellness Centre and past the doors to it (don’t go in yet); continue through two large sets of doors and you’ll find yourself at a reception desk— that’s the Pool Desk.
- Once you get to the Pool Desk, tell them that you’re looking to go to the gym.
- If it is your first time there, they will likely have you fill out a form.
- They will scan your Student ID to confirm that it’s valid (if you’re a current student then it is).
- At the pool desk they will take your Student ID and give you an access pass which you clip onto your gym clothes when you eventually get to the Wellness Centre (soon, I promise)
- You can then make your way into the locker room, which is just past the Pool Desk— Men’s locker room on the left, Women’s on the right.
- Change into the clothes you want to work out in! Most people leave their things in the lockers that are available.
- Remember walking by the Wellness Centre doors? You can now go back and go through them to finally get your sweat on! (It’s just left out the changing room main door, through two large double doors, past the dance studios, and on your left. The door is well-marked.)
- When you enter, you’ll need to sign in in the book on the desk. Just write down your name, the time you arrived, and the number that’s on your Access Pass.
- Go work out! If you have questions about how any of the machines work, there is staff available and eager to help you out! They want to see you succeed so use their knowledge!
- When you leave, sign out by writing down the time.
- Come back soon! And congrats on going to the gym— you’re already ahead of many others!
Tips & Tricks
- You don’t need to show up in your gym gear. Even snow can’t be an excuse not to go to the gym because you can bundle up and change in the locker room.
- Bring a lock if you want to store valuable. Although I’ve personally never had anything taken while I was working out, and I believe in the integrity of other X students, I don’t like to take the risk. Locks are $3 at the Dollarama in the mall and can save a lot of headaches and frustration later if something happens to go missing.
- Everyone works out in different ways— find what works best for you!
- Bring a water bottle! There’s a fountain in the Wellness Centre but you won’t want to leave your machine to grab a drink.
- Have a bike? Bike around the Nish for a change!
- For a fee, you can have access to fitness classes, such as water aerobics, Zumba, Yoga, Circuit Blast, and more! Look for promotions throughout the year to save some money!
- Ask your RA to bring instructors into your residence or to go as a group if you want to try out something new, but don’t want to go it alone.
- Make a workout playlist and update it once a month. Find songs that pump you up and are the length of your workout exercises. This will get you motivated to keep going and you’ll be able to know how much longer your workout is just by the song that’s playing.
- There are fans on most of the cardio machines- they are lifesavers.
- Don’t be afraid to go alone. Tons of people do and you’ll get your workout done a lot faster.
- The Wellness Centre tends to be busiest in the evening once most classes are done for the day, so if you’re done early one day of the week, or have a large gap in your schedule, use that time to go to the gym. (Hint: You’ll be able to tell if it’s busy before you get in there by the number of Student IDs that are on the wall behind the Pool Desk- the more IDs, the more people currently in the Wellness Centre.)
- Even if you didn’t work out in high school, or if you’re used to a specific routine, university is a great chance to change up your lifestyle and try new things. Be open to new ideas!