While being a full-time student and juggling your school life with your social life, working out may not be your first priority. However, some people experience a great deal of free time during their college years, leaving them with an excellent opportunity to go workout and live a healthy lifestyle. The Student Fitness Center at Illinois State has a lot to offer and will surely motivate students to keep coming back. The 170,000 square foot facility provides recreational opportunities for the campus community with over 22,000 square foot of cardio and weight training space, fitness studios, sport courts, an indoor track, swimming pool, climbing wall and more. Here are some reasons why every student should take advantage of their free gym membership and visit the ISU Recreation Center!

Pool Area and Open Swim

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At the Illinois State Student Fitness Center, there is a large swimming pool that provides students with the opportunity to participate in open swim times as well as organized water competitions. If a student needs to practice his/her swimming skills for the Swim Team, here is the place to come to. Or if a student just wants to relax and take a dip in the pool, the Fitness Pool is for you! For more information on the Pool Hours and Open Swim times, click here.

Climbing wall


Located on the lowest level of the Fitness Center, the climbing wall is open and available to all ISU students. To find out more information about climbing times, click here and scroll down to the “Climbing Wall” section. Additionally, the Student Fitness Center provides climbing competitions, workshops, and fun challenges for students who are interested. Check out the Indoor Climbing page for more information.

Basketball courts

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There are several basketball courts inside ISU‘s Student Fitness Center in which students have the ability to participate in basketball competitions and open gyms. The different courts provide students with the opportunity to play volleyball, badminton, table tennis, soccer, and even floor hockey. If you are interested in visiting the Fitness Center to utilize the sport courts, click here for information on open gym times.

Workout classes

ISU‘s Fitness Center hires experienced instructors in order to provide students with numerous workout classes. The Fitness program offers a variety of regularly scheduled classes in cardiovascular, strength, and mind/body training formats. These group classes include different types of Yoga, Cycling, Zumba, Pilates, Boxing, and more! Some classes last longer than others, but they range from 30 minutes to an hour. Each class incorporates different exercises for different muscle groups in order to help students get active here on campus. Visit the Campus Recreation site for a detailed list of current times and classes that are available.

Lots of equipment

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Anyone who has been inside of the Student Fitness Center at ISU will tell you that it has a ton of workout equipment. The three-story building has a lot to offer when it comes to exercise apparatuses. There are various cardio machines, weights, benches, and a running track as well. The different sections of the Fitness Center offer different types of equipment, so if you do not find exactly what you are looking for, make sure you visit every level of the building!


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Although most people are already aware, there is a Starbucks right at the entrance of the Fitness Center. At ISU, students are able to use their Flex dollars to purchase items from Starbucks! Although there is another Starbucks in Uptown, the only one that accepts Flex dollars is in the Student Fitness Center. If you ever find that you need a cup of coffee to stay awake, or to quench your thirst, make sure you stop by the Starbucks located right inside the Recreation Center.

Study area

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Although the Student Fitness Center here at ISU provides students with the ability to workout, there are also comfy chairs and tables in which students have the opportunity to study at. There are tables located outdoors as well as inside the building. When the weather is nice, take advantage of the shaded tables. Otherwise, upon enter the building, get a warm cup of coffee from Starbucks and take a seat at one of the many tables inside.

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Clearly, Illinois State’s Student Fitness Center has a lot to offer to its members. So, take advantage of the free membership and utilize the facilities as much as possible! Whether you come to the Fitness Center for a group fitness class, the swimming pool, climbing wall, running track, study area, basketball courts, or Starbucks, you will surely enjoy yourself!


Anna Tonarelli

Currently a freshman at Illinois State University and majoring in Elementary Education in hopes of becoming a teacher

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