With Spring Break just on the horizon, many SHSU students are preparing for the holiday in a variety of ways.
One place where students are headed is the Health and Kinesiology Center, which is packed with students exercising to be in shape for the week-long vacation.
Tina Hernandez, assistant director of Wellness Program in the SHSU Recreational Sports department, said the number of students enrolled in fitness programs usually changes around the vacation.
“Our numbers have been up for a month now, a lot of people hit the gym pretty hard, but after Spring Break our numbers go down,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said that there are always more students enrolled in fitness programs during the spring semester, and that this year there is an “astronomically” higher number of students since coming back from winter break.
“Our first week back we had 558, since then it’s risen to as many as 866,” Hernandez said.
She added that last week there were 647 students participating in workouts, but that there are rarely less than 600 students working out every week.
The classes that have been the most filled with students lately are the “abs ‘n more” classes, which has more than 80 students enrolled. Hernandez said this class has a large number of men along with woman students, which is rare for workout classes.
In the future, Hernandez said that Recreational Sports is planning to create workout programs geared specifically for students aiming to be in shape for Spring Break.
“One of the things we’d like to do is a Spring Break boot camp, beginning six weeks beforehand,” Hernandez said. “It would include nutritional assessments, strength and cardio activities.”
For students planning on going away for Spring Break, Hernandez warned not to forget to workout at least a few times that week with exercises such as jumping jacks, squats or push-ups, as well as remembering to drink water.
“Hydrate: Don’t let all the hard work you’ve done go to waste,” Hernandez said.
Kevin McKinney, assistant director for facilities and aquatics, said that more than 1500 students where in the HKC for everything from intramural sports to gym classes on Monday, and that the building is busiest from Sunday through Wednesday. He added that many of the students in the HKC are exercising for Spring Break.
“We know that’s why they’re here,” said McKinney. “We would hope that they would continue to take advantage of the facilities well after Spring Break.”
Junior Jennifer Daniel, a group fitness instructor for Recreational Sports, said she has heard from students that spring break is the cause of the recent increase in workout attendance.
“Whenever I mentioned that the numbers were from last week, everyone said, ‘yeah, next week is Spring Break, and we have to get ready’,” Daniel said.
Students in the HKC weight room had different comments concerning their exercise habits prior to Spring Break. Senior Eric Noski said that he does not plan to increase his exercises for the break, since he will be in the gym during the vacation anyway.
“I’ll be in the gym everyday,” Noski said. “I play a lot of racquetball, that’s how I get my cardio in.”
Noski said that during the week before Spring Break, students have to be in the weight room at certain times if you want to avoid the crowds, otherwise they should be prepared to wait for their turn to use equipment.
Graduate student Casey Dean teaches a kinesiology 215 course, and said demand for exercise has increased this week.
“I had a lot of people in general ask me how to work out the last week to get fit for Spring Break,” Dean said, adding that he told them there’s no fast way to get fit.
Dean added that in the large amount of traffic in the HKC weight room is typical this time of year, generally increasing just before Spring Break.
“Yesterday, a regular 45 minute workout took an hour and 15 minutes,” Dean said.
Getting haircuts are another activity that jumps during this time. Mark Comer, a stylist at Tangles Hair Salon, said that SHSU students make up 70 percent of the salon’s clients, and there has been a 20 percent increase in business so far this week.
“It’s been packed,” Comer said. “Right now we’re having ten minutes of slowness, but that won’t last.
Comer said that most students come to Tangles because it is very student friendly and offers discounts without requiring student IDs. He said it is because of these benefits that most students come to the salon prior to Spring Break, and that many seek the same popular variety of hairstyles.
“We do a lot of highlights and a lot of fades,” Comer said.
Comer also said he knew the location that many students seem to be heading to for Spring Break based on what hairstyle they want and where they go before they get their haircut.
“A lot for the beaches,” Comer said. “They go to the tanning shops first, and then they come here for highlights and cuts, even the guys.”