Kids are back on campus, meeting roommates, decorating their dorm rooms, and starting classes. It’s time for recreation center directors to examine their facilities and make sure they have the equipment students and staff want. It’s critical to select the right, dependable workout machines, from a company that understands the college/university fitness environment, to both add value to your facility and protect your investment.

Fitness centers…an essential part of campus life

Working out helps provide a balance for the demands and stresses of today’s college experience. Students, staff and instructors depend on campus fitness centers to stay healthy, active, and at their physical and mental best. They expect nothing less than deluxe health club-quality equipment in on-campus facilities, for use by people of all ages and abilities.

College students live hectic lives—between classes, clubs, socializing, jobs, and sleep, it can be easy for them to put fitness on the back burner. Rather than let that happen, a well-equipped recreational center at your university helps promote, inspire and instill the values of a healthy lifestyle for students and staff.

7 tips for a great college facility

When building or upgrading your campus fitness center, you must make sure the needs of the users are being met. Here is our list of the top 7 must-haves for college workout facilities:

    1. Well maintained, up-to-date equipment

      Users want a fitness center with the best maintained fitness equipment (whether or not it’s free of charge). Plus, your fitness equipment must be up-to-date and state-of-the-art. Students will not accept less or spend time with inferior equipment. That means upgrading your commercial fitness equipment regularly to keep students coming back for more.

    2. A variety of equipment

      College is a great time for students to branch out and discover the kinds of fitness they’re into. One week, students might be into running on the treadmill…the next they turn to an elliptical or stepper/climber for a great workout. It’s up to you to keep up with the students’ never-ending hunger to try new things, by offering a wide array of fitness alternatives, including both cardio and strength equipment. A healthy mix of ellipticals, treadmills, and cycles is ideal for your center’s cardio machines. For strength, include a diverse selection, as well.

    3. Sufficient equipment

      There’s nothing more frustrating (and discouraging) than showing up to the fitness center and seeing that all of the machines you want to use are taken. Make sure your fitness center has enough of the high-demand pieces, such as treadmills and ellipticals, so there are sufficient machines for everyone to use at all times.

    4. Regular Maintenance

      Fitness equipment cannot simply be purchased and forgotten. Downtime and “out of order” signs on equipment lead to irritation and frustration. Regular maintenance and servicing are necessary to keep the equipment working properly and safely for the life of your equipment.

    5. Cleanliness

      A yucky, dirty facility (or one filled with germs) will keep students from coming back to your fitness center or even make them ill. Be sure to provide plenty of cleaning supplies, conveniently located all around the fitness center, so users can wipe down equipment after each use. A thorough cleaning of the entire facility should be done every day, as well, to help prevent illness.

    6. Good ventilation

      Proper ventilation is a necessity, especially with people working up a sweat in your college fitness center. Working out in a poorly ventilated area is smelly, uncomfortable, and can lead to spread of colds, flu and other airborne ailments.

    7. Motivation, motivation, motivation

      Deliver a facility that provides reasons to keep coming back to work out. Having TVs throughout the gym and cardio equipment with console entertainment options gives students a chance to catch up on their favorite shows or sporting events while they exercise. Wi-fi allows them use their smartphones, too. Provide free software that can be used to set and track fitness goals and take part in fitness challenges.

Staying healthy should be fun for them…and easy for you

Investing in a quality, inspiring college fitness center is a sure-fire way to improve your university and the physical and mental health of everyone on your campus. That’s why you need an experienced partner to help meet your needs, protect your investment, and navigate the advancements in equipment and design.

SOFITCO is the supplier of choice for such institutions of higher learning as Florida State University, the University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech, and we’re ready to help you, too, as you plan or expand on your university’s facility. Give us a shout!