Keeping Fit at UL

#FitAtUL

If you come across me at the gym, you might find me singing along to my music as I lift, skipping around the track (of course I say it’s for cardio, but really, it’s for fun) and you will definitely find me sweating.

As an exercise science major, fitness is a big component of my life. Staying fit and eating healthfully is largely how I cope with stress and major life change – and boy, was this a big one.

I was so nervous to leave the comfort of my gym, my running trails, and my workout buddies at home. Does UL’s gym have my machines? Are there running trails? Who would workout with me?

Thankfully, my roommates share my passion for the gym and we quickly bonded through our love of scenic runs and exercise-induced endorphins. Together we navigated the trails along the Shannon River – which conveniently runs right next to Thomond Village – and the gym!

After roughly six weeks living active at UL, I feel below are my ratings of various modes of exercise here at UL!

Pedestrian Trail Rating: ★★★★

+1 The trails are absolutely beautiful & running with a view of the Shannon is a dream come true!

+1 The trails are minimally muddy after a fall of rain, so they are running-shoes friendly!

+1 The trails are nice to my bad knees & ankles, as they are not paved with cement!

+1 The trails have heavy foot traffic during the day, making me feel safe when running alone!

-1 Unfortunately, the trails are not well-lit – I would advise a morning or midday run in replacement of a nighttime run.

Above are pictures along the beautiful trails on the banks of the Shannon River! The minimal mud, beautiful scenery & heavy foot traffic make for an excellent running environment!

Gym Rating: ★★★

+1★ The gym has a great indoor track, perfect for running, walking or circuit training!

+1★ The gym has a pool that is great for swimming laps – which provides a method of cardio outside of treadmills and ellipticals!

+1★ The gym staff is very helpful and friendly, which makes me feel right at home!

-1★ The gym’s weight room is small and tends to fall short equipment-wise – I advise using free weights and pre-planned circuits or attending one of the group classes.

-1★ The gym tends to get very crowded, as it is open to the public as well as students – I advise going in the mornings and over the weekends to avoid heavy foot traffic.

Sport-Based Club & Society Rating: ★★★

+1★ There are a variety of clubs and societies to choose from!

+1★ Many clubs and societies offer a good workout to those advanced in the sport!

+1★ Joining a club or a society is a great way to meet new people, and you are bound to make some new friends that share similar interests!

-1★ Some clubs are not beginner-friendly – I would advise choosing a club based around a sport in which you have previous experience.

-1★ Many clubs ask members to pay upfront, and do not offer refunds if you do not want to join – I would advise asking current members what the payment policy is.

If you plan on staying #FitAtUL, there are many options on campus for you to enjoy! The running trails by far have my endorsement (as a self-proclaimed running enthusiast)!

I am so excited to explore more of this campus through fitness, and I hope these tips and tricks were helpful to anyone with a similar goal!

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