Abby Starkenburg — Staff writer
Picture this: You finally catch a break in your homework and decide that it is time to go to the gym. You have a specific plan for working out in mind – running on the treadmill, biking, and doing a cooldown incline walk. After walking from the dorms through the blustering wind, you get to the rec center only to find there are no treadmills open because two are broken and the rest are in use. Suddenly, your entire plan for working out is thrown off. This is the reality that Dordt University students face every day.
Exercise is essential for college students. With the amount of pressure academics can bring, an outlet of some sort is crucial to deal with everyday stressors. Exercising regularly can lead to “heightened focus, elevated mood and lower stress, increased energy, and a sharper memory,” according to Colorado Technical University.
Exercise has also been shown to help sleep— something many college students do not get enough of. Ohio State University found that college students get on average only six hours of sleep a night, with Harvard finding that seven-to-nine hours of sleep is optimal for college students.
Dordt has recognized the need to improve the rec and has formulated a plan to slowly exchange old equipment with new equipment.
Trent Roose, Dordt’s Assistant Athletic Director, began his position in July 2022 and has since undertaken the process of facility renovations.
“The goal in five years is to have everything rotated as new,” Roose said.
This five-year plan applies to both the cardio equipment and the weight room equipment. Roose hopes to add more quantity to the cardio equipment, as well as improve the condition of the equipment.
Maintenance on the current treadmills has been more difficult lately due to supply chain issues. Once a treadmill is declared broken, staff must call an Omaha-based company to fix the equipment. This process can take up to a couple of weeks.
Vinny Keane, a freshman at Dordt, uses the rec’s weight room typically six days a week.
“Obviously they have the athlete’s weight room, but it is cool that they are investing in the regular one as well,” Keane said. “They definitely need new squat racks and benches— only one person can use it at a time.”
Within the weight room, Roose has drawn up a plan to use space more efficiently by combining the functions of some equipment. He also plans to add some of the equipment that they do not currently have.
“I would rather [the five-year timeline] be shortened,” Keane said. “But I think it’s really cool that they are doing that.”
“Exciting changes are gonna happen in the next couple years,” Roose said. The rec staff plan to begin the equipment rotation this summer.