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Get fit in 2014: BU programs help students meet exercise goals for the new year

With the start of the New Year, resolutions to “become a better person” and make mental and physical self-improvements are in the air. However, maintaining these resolutions prove to be more difficult than creating them.

According to the University of Scranton’s study of resolution statistics, only 46 percent of resolutions were maintained after the six-month mark in 2013.

In the same study, the top resolution for the 2014 year is to “lose weight,” with “staying fit and healthy” sitting not too far behind at number five.

While the winter weather can be a challenging obstacle in maintaining goals for achieving better fitness in 2014, a few BU athletic clubs and the BU Fitness and Recreation Center provide opportunities to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

BU Curling Club

According to the BU Curling Club’s website, the mission of BUCC is “to spread awareness of the sport of curling to the Boston University community and to give all interested full-time students the opportunity to learn how to curl.”

“We would really like BUCC to grow in terms of the number of members we currently have,” said Matt Huse, BUCC secretary. “We would like to see beginners who do come on their first trip to come back on subsequent trips and become devoted members.”

According to the World Curling Federation, curling is one of the oldest sports in the world. Beginning in Scotland, curling gradually becoming more popular, and eventually became an Olympic Sport in 1924. In the game, players slide flat stones across ice with brooms towards a mark. Players must control the speed and direction in order to get the more stones on or closer to the mark than the other teams.

“Curling may not be the most physically demanding sport, but after playing for an hour or two you do get tired,” Huse, a School of Management sophomore, said. “If you’re the captain of the team, the game involves a lot of strategy, and after a tournament where you play three to four games, you’re mentally exhausted as well.”

The club meets almost every Friday from mid-October until the end of March. During this period, there are also several tournaments. BUCC plays at Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland and for more experienced curlers, there are two to three weekend tournaments per semester.

“We have two main intentions that we try to accomplish every year,” Huse said. “One is that we try to have as much fun as possible at our weekly curling trips, and secondly we try to accumulate enough merit points through tournaments and head-to-head matchups to qualify for the Nationals event, where the top 16 college curling teams compete for the National Championship.”

Outside of having fun and preparing for tournaments, BUCC also believes in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Huse suggests that rather than watching TV and eating snacks, biking or running is a better alternative.

“Joining any sports clubs, especially ones that interest you, is a great way to become more fit and help you meet any New Year’s resolutions related to fitness,” Huse said.

BU Running Club

The Boston University Running Club (BURC) is the only Student Activities Office-approved student running group on campus. BURC is open to runners of all abilities and aims to promote a healthy lifestyle and passion for running.

“Although we do occasionally run races as a club, we are not a competitive team but rather a group of like-minded students that tries to involve as many runners as possible, irrespective of their ability, for the maximum enjoyment of the group and of every individual member,” said Urs Weber, treasurer of BURC.

The club currently leaves for runs from Marsh Plaza every weekday afternoon at 4 p.m. Despite the cold winter months, Weber said it is easier to maintain enthusiasm when around others who are equally passionate about running.

“The BURC is a tight-knit community that was brought together by a passion for running,” Weber, and College of Arts and Sciences senior, said. “Friendships quickly develop in the club and we keep each other motivated throughout the year, especially during the cold and snowy winter months.”

Weber also said maintaining fitness is the best way to ward off many diseases.

“We live at a time where disease is related to unhealthy lifestyle choices,” Weber said. “Not everyone has to be able to run a six-minute mile, but everyone should be able to get up the stairs without having to catch their breath.”

She found that maintaining fitness helps keep personal balance of studies and exercise.

“Resolving to improve ones fitness is always an important first step towards a healthier lifestyle, no matter when the resolution is made,” Weber said. “New Year’s resolutions related to fitness are a great first step towards improving fitness and health, but they have to be implemented throughout the year to produce lasting benefits.”

Weber said he would like to invite anyone who is already a runner or who would like to get started to join BURC for a run. Those interested can find more information on BURC’s Facebook page.

BU Bodybuilding and Fitness Club

The official goal of the Bodybuilding and Fitness Club (BUBFC) is to “help members of the BU community reach and surpass their training goals,” and to “tap into the vast resources already available at BU and strive to be a force of change on campus while promoting a healthy lifestyle.”

BUBFC uses BU resources such as Nutrition Services through Sargent College and the Athletic Center Department. While the club focuses on fitness, it also concentrates on mental values as well.

“BUBFC is not a club that is just about working out,” said Prady Tewarie, CAS graduate and one of the founders of the club. “We are bodybuilders, and that means that we lead our lives through the values it instills: discipline, mental fortitude, constant self-improvement and a never-give-up attitude.”

Tewarie said the biggest victory is seeing the members who had no prior bodybuilding experience fall in love with the sport, especially after the big difference that bodybuilding made in Tewarie’s own life.

“Over the past five years, I have become more in-tune with my spiritual self and have been able to accomplish things I never thought possible precisely because I realized that I was the master of my own fate,” Tewarie said. “This is something I would never have realized if it weren’t for bodybuilding.”

Tewarie also supports the ideas of New Year resolutions to “get fit.”

“What could be better than people taking initiative to making positive change in their lives?” Tewarie said. “Fitness is very important. Once I started seeing the power I had in changing my body, I realized that I had more control over my fate that I ever thought possible. I felt powerful in all areas of my life.”

The club usually meets on Thursday afternoons, and any additional meetings or changes to the schedule are posted on the “BU Bodybuilding” Facebook page. Tewarie also added that prospective members should not feel scared to join.

“Many people feel intimidated when they see the word “Bodybuilding” in our club name, and this could not be further from the truth,” Tewarie said. “Bodybuilding is an activity of self-discovery where individuals use it as a tool to empower not only themselves, but also each other.”

BU FitRec

Seven courts of gym space, an indoor jogging track, two pools and a rock-climbing wall are only part of what makes up BU’s Fitness and Recreation Center (FitRec). From individual workouts to hiring a personal trainer or enrolling into group fitness classes, there are many opportunities to follow a resolution to get in shape.

According to FitRec’s website, the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance is committed to “providing unparalleled educational and recreational programs, services, and facilities in order to promote health, wellness and activities that strengthen the University and local communities.”

Located in West Campus, FitRec provides opportunities for an easier transition into New Year resolution habits through free member classes, long operating hours and the encouraging environment to maintain a healthy lifestyle. At FitRec, BU affiliates can exercise, socialize and be healthy all at the same time.

Keep up the good work

With one month of the New Year complete, the popularity of resolutions is starting to fade.

Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo revealed tips towards keeping up with a resolution in an article for Beliefnet. She suggests writing out a commitment statement in order to prioritize the goal on a daily basis, getting help from friends to remind and ask about the resolution and keeping the commitment realistic.

Lombardo also said to address the setbacks and give rewards for progress. New Year resolutions should be a positive process, and overcoming stress and certain environments is a part of the process.

“Scientists who study change consider relapse to be a normal part of change,” Lombardo said. “This does not mean ‘feel free to give in every once in a while.’ It does mean that, if it happens, you need not beat yourself up.”

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