Battling the first year spread

By Tracy Chemaly

Ever heard of ‘first year spread’? Not? Okay good, we’ve caught you just in time. First year spread takes hold of many first-time university entrants. It grabs hold of your buttocks, your belly and your cheeks and rids them of the toning you spent so long perfecting for your Matric dance and beach holiday. With the disappearance of your daily routine of school, sport, choir and homework, as well as the introduction of alcohol, bunking classes and res food (or worse – fast food), your young, svelte body is bound to take a turn for the worse. Enter the Rhodes Health Suite.

The Health Suite, situated near the Alec Mullins hall, caters to all energy enthusiasts. For an annual fee of R220, students are able to enjoy unlimited access to either spinning, aerobics or the gym (or even all three for only R550), thereby combating and hopefully preventing first year spread.

If you were hoping you’d be able to find a Virgin Active in town, here’s why you should be happy to rather have the Health Suite. There are no perving old men (or women). All the instructors and section assistants are young, friendly and always willing to help. Most of them are HKE (Human Kinetics and Ergonomics) students and have a wealth of knowledge in nutrition, injury prevention and cure, first-aid and how best to reach fitness goals. The atmosphere is relaxed and you don’t have to worry about what to wear. It’s on campus. All your friends belong to the same gym, so group sessions are great motivation. Oh, and the hottie from your psych class is bound to be a member too.

There are five spinning and aerobics classes a day. Anyone is welcome to take part in these classes on a free trial basis until the end of the first week of term. Aerobics classes include tae-bo, cardio ball, tums and bums, body conditioning and boot camp. Look out for workshop sessions intended to introduce spinning to beginners by showing you how to set up your bike, position yourself on it and prevent injuries. Introductions to the gym will also take place with instructors working out basic programmes for newcomers and showing you how best to use the circuit and free weights area.

The facilities in the gym have been upgraded for the new year and more treadmills have been brought in. So be sure to join the Health Suite before the end of February, while the fees can still be charged to your student account (thereafter you’ll have to pay cash). Then you too will be able to take part in the 12-hour indoor cycle marathon and aerobics marathons later in the year. Also, look out for the newly introduced fitness quest that will be open to combo members, who have membership to all three sections.

The Health Suite is open from 6 – 9am and 12 – 9pm Monday to Friday, and 2 – 5pm Saturdays and Sundays. There’s no better cure for a hangover than a sweat-it-out session in the gym!


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