As students work on improving their health and fitness either through nutrition or physical activities, Iowa State provides recreational services to students who are looking for new workout routines or weekend hiking trips.
Iowa State has three centers dedicated to recreational services — State Gym, Lied and Beyer Hall — that all have similar services. These centers are free and available to all Iowa State students with an ISUCard.
State Gym is located on the west side of campus, and was renovated in 2012 to include a rock climbing wall and a leisure pool and high-dive. The facility also has two indoor running tracks, weight and cardio equipment and a multipurpose activity room. There is also a skywalk with ellipticals that connects State Gym to Beyer Hall.
“My favorite place to go is the pool,” said William Young, a sophomore in psychology. “After a hard workout I usually cool down swimming to relax my muscles, and to get rid of some lactic acid. When you’re done doing an intense workout, your body creates lactic acid and that’s when you feel really sore. So getting a good cool down helps reduce it a little bit.”
The workout equipment is among the most popular options at the centers. Iowa State Recreation Services also provides fitness classes that are open to anyone; classes are held during the spring, summer and fall semesters. Personal training, which is also provided through Recreation Services, allows students to work one-on-one with a trainer.
There are also outdoor recreational trips and workshops, such as kayaking, rock climbing, outdoor cooking, skiing and snowboarding. Students can register on the Recreation Services website for these workshops as well as explore the various trips they can join.
"They also do weekend and extended trips, which are led by student staff that are also trained," said Ray Schmidt, marketing coordinator for Iowa State Recreation Services. "And those can go anywhere [...] you could be kayaking in Alaska or climbing in Arkansas."
In addition to trips in the U.S., Iowa State Recreation Services offers students international trips to Costa Rica. Those interested can learn more or register on the Iowa State Recreation Services website.
"Last year became the first year of our international trip, which is hiking in Costa Rica, " Schmidt said. "[...] which is a fully immersive experience; there's kayaking, surfing, horseback riding as well as hanging out with locals — you really get to know the local culture — so the Costa Rica trip is kinda a big thing."
Students do have to pay a separate fee for the trip, which provides for transportation, food, technical equipment and logistics. The trips can last for a day up to a week and students can travel to places as close as Boone to as far as state parks in Arkansas.
Iowa State Recreation Services also introduced a new sports service for students who are interested in the gaming perspective. More information about Iowa State Recreation Services can be found on their website.