Exploring the AWC: What You Can Do as a Student

Classes are held almost daily, and feature an array of different group workouts.

The SUNY New Paltz Athletic and Wellness Center (AWC) is home to many different spaces for students to take advantage of. Its opening ceremony in 2006 welcomed 57,000 square feet of athletic bliss. From the 1,800 seat basketball arena to the 25-yard swimming pool, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. 

Although there’s an array of different machines available for use in the Elting Gymnasium, many students don’t know about the stellar variety of group workout classes that are held almost every day. Instructors of each class are mainly New Paltz students and it’s a great opportunity to connect with fellow peers while engaging in a beneficial group activity. 

Whether you’re sticking to your resolution of working out or forgot about it in the first week of January, there’s no better place to start than a group workout class. If you’re in the mood for an intense pilates class or searching for solace in becoming a yoga pro, there’s an opportunity to broaden your horizons right here on campus.

“To prepare for a group workout I make sure to have a good meal before class and I like to test out my music before teaching,” third year early childhood education major Jess Hayes remarked. She has been a cycle instructor since last fall, and now teaches four classes per week. 

Instructors of group workout classes at the AWC are referred to as “Fit Pros” as the back of their uniform reads. Prior to attending classes, you must sign up within the app IMLeagues and bring your student ID to check in at the front desk. 

It can be intimidating to start working out if you’re unfamiliar with it — but a great place to start your journey is in a group workout setting. Each instructor works hard to ensure everyone participating is having a good time and achieving their goals, all without the pressure of creating your own workout regime.

“It is a bit difficult balancing being a student and working as a Fit Pro but I have gotten used to the busy schedule,” Hayes shared. “This semester I am teaching four days in a row so it definitely is a big responsibility!”

Asking someone to accompany you is a great way to make new friendships and encourage you both to step out of your comfort zone. Once the class is over, you’ll feel gratified that you went instead of spending an hour of your time on TikTok.

Upon entering the cycle room and feeling the serene environment, all the worries about working out will fly out the window. “Usually I have a full class with 12 people, but if not I average around nine to 11 people coming to each class, this is a group exercise class so everyone is working out together in one big group,” said Hayes.

You’re able to take things at your own pace and ask instructors for clarification if you’re feeling confused. The main goal of these classes is for people to engage with each other while exercising in a stress-free environment. 

From zumba to dance fitness to yoga, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy. In the time of midterms and feeling defeated, a great way to alleviate some stress is letting out some steam at the AWC!
You can find out more information about the AWC workout schedules, hours and other details on their Instagram, @npwellrec.

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About Samantha Salerno 81 Articles
Samantha (Sam) Salerno is a third-year performing arts major who has a passion for writing. This is her third semester on The Oracle. She spent the majority of her summer working for the publication, Fire Island News. You can reach her by emailing salernos2@newpaltz.edu.