Get your fitness in with UTD’s new outdoor gym

André Averion | Mercury Staff

The UTD Fitness Court Studio is one of the latest and most exciting additions to University Recreation amenities, but it has yet to gain traction during the summer heat wave. However, students interested in exercise — particularly resistance training and aerobics — should utilize the outdoor calisthenics gym when the temperature cools down this fall.

The Fitness Court Studio will be one of UREC’s biggest assets in the coming semester, as a free outdoor calisthenics gym established earlier this summer to promote fitness and health. Not only is it a space for working out, but it can just as easily become one of the most popular spots on campus.

Its location is a prime reason for this as it’s visible to everybody. Currently, students may look at the fitness court as merely a piece of sculpture art crafted under the blistering sun to decorate Lot J, but by the fall semester it’ll be accessible, heat-protected, and right along two of the most active basketball and volleyball courts on campus. 

UREC is planning outdoor training activities at the studio behind the gym area. Yoga, meditation and dance are just a few programs and classes UREC could introduce at the south side of the outdoor studio, instead of cramming in during peak gym time. These programs should be available for sign up by fall.

Anybody who’s been to the UREC gym understands that it gets very busy very fast. Most of us have experienced our routine being delayed because every worthwhile machine is taken, or because someone is using the machine you’ve had your eyes on as a throne dedicated to scrolling through TikTok for 20 minutes. 

The fitness court, on the other hand, has stations that all take a minute each to do, meaning it won’t be a race to the next workout. Additionally, there’s instructions on how to do each workout on the sides of the court and on the free app, so newcomers to fitness can quickly get started on what they need to do, getting a full workout in just seven minutes.

Fitness is a priority at UTD, and it has been proven to benefit brain health, manage weight, reduce the risk of disease and empower your physical anatomy. The lack of fitness has been considered one of America’s silent pandemics. Between 1999 and 2020, the obesity rate across the nation has increased from 30.5% to 41.9%, putting more at risk for strokes, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. In the most recent decade, there have been approximately 2 million reported cases of type 2 diabetes in Texas alone, and by 2030, it’s projected to affect 2.9 million people. For heart disease, which can oftentimes be fatal or life-altering, the number of those afflicted is expected to jump from 1.3 million to 5.7 million in the same amount of time. 

The fitness court allows students to explore the benefits of fitness and maintaining their health in a quick and easy manner, with different routines to challenge oneself. It’s convenient, it’s effective, and it’s newcomer friendly. It’s a good start to maintain your health, with easy-to-follow instructions and a free exercise app available in the App Store. Not to mention, the app also maintains a competitive leaderboard for challenges, so you can compete with your friends with the progress you make. 

Whether you’re there for a UREC program, by yourself, or with a group of friends to encourage each other, the fitness court will be a student’s location of choice to improve themselves in the fall. Utilizing it is far better than the alternative of ignoring your health. The fitness court might not be attractive for students this summer given the weather, but during autumn with its shaded design and UREC programs, it’ll be sure to bring students together socially and competitively. 

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