By Weston Payne -- Men's basketball head coach Chris Mack
A common dilemma many students face when beginning their college careers out of high school is figuring out how to stay in shape while adjusting to a new schedule.
The Student Activities Center’s fitness center offers a variety of different activities to help keep students in shape, including an accessible weight room stocked with treadmills, free and machine weight systems and other cardiovascular equipment.
“In the Louisville Metropolitan area, this [SAC] is one of the best facilities around,” Ken Carey, gym employee, said. “The vast array of equipment and stuff that this facility has here along with the facilities at the Crawford and Humana, it can’t be beat.”
The SAC is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and is free with an active student ID.
The SAC fitness center also provides five racquetball courts, two squash courts and complete locker room facilities along with four multi-purpose gym floors which are used for basketball, volleyball and badminton.
“It offers pretty much everything you want,” Greg Welsh, junior nursing major, said. “They have a gym, basketball courts, racquetball and they’re always open when you need them to be so it’s pretty convenient.”
For those looking to keep themselves occupied in some competitive form or just looking for a way to blow off some steam without all the sweat, the Cardinal Corner might be the answer. Also located in the SAC, the Cardinal Corner provides an assortment of free games for students to compete in, including pool, ping-pong, air hockey and foosball.
The Ralph Wright Natatorium, located on the corner of Warnock Ave. and Floyd St., is one for the newest facilities on campus and allows students a chance to swim in an Olympic-size pool. The Natatorium is also home to the U of L’s men’s and women’s swim teams and is complete with an eight-lane, 50 meter competition pool with depth ranging from four feet, six inches to 18 feet.
“It’s really a great facility,” Matt Blanford, graduate student and lifeguard, said. “It’s brand new and I think students are surprised when they find out that it’s even here and they’re allowed to use it for free.”
The Natatorium is open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and is also open at various times on weekends.
The Humana Gym is another facility available for students looking to work out. Located on Bradley Ave. and Eastern Pkwy., the Humana Gym offers complete weight and cardiovascular rooms, dry heat saunas and gym floors are available when not used for club practices. Free for students, the Humana Gym is open from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
U of L also offers a variety of different sports clubs and intramural league sports which provide students looking for a more structured plan to help maintain a healthy lifestyle, a solid solution while satisfying their competitive juices.
With clubs like badminton, fencing, gymnastics and many others, students are given the opportunity to compete while receiving a chance to learn a new sport or continuing to play a familiar one. There are also many different intramural league sports students can play including football, basketball, and soccer.