Less than 33 percent of LIU Post students use the state of the art Pratt Recreational Center for exercise, according to Martin Guillet, Associate Director of Recreation. The facility is free to all current students.
“Students use the gym very frequently only during the first two weeks of the semester and the two weeks before spring break,” said Brooke Aksens, a trainer at the Pratt Recreational Center.
Kerianne Ingram and Jonelle Peterson, students working at the Pratt Recreation Information Desk, have observed that most of the people who come regularly to work out are members of sports teams.
“If students went to the gym just four times a week for 45 minute sessions they would be well on their way to looking and feeling better,” said Aksens.
Guillet believes this trend happens because only a small percentage of students use the gym simply for living a healthy way of life. He added that most college students use the gym to improve their body whether it is to gain or lose weight. He said that this occurs because many college students worry about their appearance.
Free nutrition assistance is available to students who make an appointment through the Dietetic Internship Program, which is run by graduate interns and directed by Sandra Sarcona, associate professor of nutrition. The program is designed to help students learn how to eat healthier and achieve their personal goals.
Aksens said, “Students are looking to learn how to eat at Winnick. The foods avail¬able at night are high in fat and sugar.”
The dietetic internship program is designed to help guide students to make better choices when put in this situation. Guillet wishes it were possible to inform students of every program that Post offers. He said that many students have outside gym memberships regardless of the fact that the gym in Pratt is free to them as students. To people who reside in the community, membership can cost up to $600 a year.
“I am always surprised that some students don’t know where the gym is after three to four years [at Post],” Guillet said. He is determined to get the word out to more students by using social media outlets, such as Face¬book, and by meeting with students.
Jeff Beck, a trainer at the Pratt Recreational Center, said that he thinks it would be a good idea if they made a website for students who don’t feel comfortable going to the gym. He envisioned a website, possibly with a video blog, that showed students exercises that they can do for 15 minutes in their dorm room.
Beck thinks this would be helpful to students because many students have difficulty fitting the gym into their busy schedules. However, he said that the Pratt Recreational Center tries to attract students by bringing in new state of the art equipment.
The Pratt Recreational Center was donated by Edmund T. Pratt, who gave Post about $14 million to build the center. Today, Pratt is operated by the college’s general funds, ac¬cording to Guillet.
Along with the state of the art workout room in Pratt, there is also an array of other ways to exercise in the recreation center. There is an indoor track, a swimming pool along with fitness classes, and intramural sports.
Beck said that a lot of people take the fitness classes, but they are always looking for more people. He added that they are trying to accommodate more people by adding additional times for classes such as the new TRX class (suspension training) and more abs classes.
“Exercising and being fit are excellent ways to get through college stresses. It radiates positive energy,” Beck said.
Guillet said that the Pratt Recreational Center is always open to suggestions for improvement in the facility.
For more information call the information desk at (516) 299-3250 or visit their website at liu.edu/post/recsports. The Pratt Recreational Center is open from Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.