Getting it on at the rec center

Winter is ebbing and sunny days are soon ahead of us. That means it’s time to dig out those tank tops, crop tops, dresses, bathing suits and booty shorts from the back of your closet and dust ’em off.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s almost time to show off those legs, those sculpted abs and those toned arms for that particular individual you’ve been eyeballing all winter. And heck, while you’re at it, you might as well show off for yourself, too. Be your own biggest fan.

Whether you’ve been working all winter on staying in shape or not, it’s never too late to start. The Portland State Recreation Center is chock full of everything you will ever need to get fit: classes, work-out equipment and quite a few good-looking people to keep you motivated.

The first time I set foot in the Rec Center, I was impressed. It’s a pretty sexy place to get your fitness on, truth be told. I’ve been to my share of gyms and know what to expect, but this place had a labyrinth of features I never would have expected.

I wandered in on a whim after a classmate mentioned that they offered yoga classes and, as I explored the many rooms, began to realize that I had hit a fitness goldmine. They offer the basics such as a weight and cardio room, an ample variety of classes and a pool. But did you know they also have a hot tub, a basketball/hockey/soccer court and a climbing wall? They even have an indoor track that wraps around the courts and offers some nice views of the outdoors. I’ve personally explored most of these features and I have to say, it’s a pretty sweet deal.

Another great feature is that the classes at the Rec Center are all taught by PSU students, and the facility itself is pretty much run by students, so you might run into some of your peers from time to time (and perhaps that hottie from class you’ve been eyeing!).

Group exercise classes are offered seven days a week and include different yoga and pilates levels, bootcamp, spin, Zumba, as well as other crazy cardio workouts. There are also aquatic programs you can join, both for beginners or more advanced swimmers, if you prefer the no-impact, no-sweat exercise of water aerobics. The pool is always set at a nice temperature, and afterward (or if you’re just feeling lethargic) you can lounge in the hot tub for a bit.

If group exercise classes aren’t really your thing, you can always hit the weight and cardio rooms solo where there are tons of machines available. The center also offers all kinds of equipment and necessities for the gym, so if you’re planning on doing some wall climbing they’ll have everything you need to do so. You can rent essentials such as towels for the day or month and lockers for day or term use.

Intramural sports allows PSU students to enjoy spirited competition with many leagues, tournaments, drop-in sports and special events. Similarly, there is a hefty list of rec clubs you can join from more common sports like soccer and basketball to more obscure sports like bouldering and dragon boat rowing. Inclusive rec clubs are designed around the principles of inclusion and adaptation for all. This means that regardless of any reason you feel out of place—whether it be a disability or because you feel some things are too advanced for you—the Rec Center is adamant about making you feel included.

And for those adventurous folks, the outdoor program is here to help quench your restless nature. This program offers activities like hiking, kayaking, snow sports, climbing and much more to get you out of your comfort zone.

So how the heck do you get in? If you’re a PSU student, the membership is included in your tuition—you’re free to wander in whenever your heart desires. If you’d like to include a non-student in your plan it will only cost them $30 per month for their membership, and, after everything I’ve mentioned, I’d say that’s a pretty solid deal.

You really have no good reason not to set foot in the Rec Center. Whether your motivation is to impress someone else or to simply challenge yourself for your own pleasure, use this to set your fitness goals in motion.

Working out, in any form, is much like anything else—the more you do it the easier it gets. So why not dip your toe in the pool and see if you like it? By the time summer rolls around you won’t even recognize yourself—in the best way possible.