Graphic by Ciara Potter

Incoming Southeast freshmen and returning students can avoid those pesky, wallet-draining gym membership fees by going to SEMO’s recreation center. The only card they will need is their student ID in order to take advantage of the center’s fitness perks that are included in the price of tuition.

The recreation center offers a variety of different fitness options ranging from cardio and weightlifting to free classes and an aquatic center. With all the different options offered, the “Freshman 15” can become a myth for new students.

Another service the recreation center offers students is personal trainers. ACSM-certified trainer Josh Lucas has been training gym-goers for two and half years and has trained students of all different fitness levels during his time at Southeast.

“I love seeing the people you’re training meet goals; I like seeing them happy,” Lucas said. “I love the idea that exercise can enhance our independence. … It can pick people’s morals up. Everyone gets intimidated when they go into a gym and see some giant guy moving a bunch of weight. Remember, those guys started at the same position you were at. They had to be a beginner at some point. Set goals for yourself.”

Lucas explained if students are interested in getting a personal trainer to help with their fitness needs, all they need to do is contact the front desk at the recreation center. Also, they should look for a trainer they will get along with, since they will be seeing them frequently.

Incoming Elementary Education Freshman Kennedy Herrell expressed her concerns about beginning her fitness journey at the recreation center.

“[I’m] probably just worried about going in and not having any clue, just being lost,” Herrell said. “I honestly didn’t know SEMO had any trainers, so now that I know that, I might find one.”

Students who prefer outdoor fitness activities also have options offered by Southeast and the surrounding Cape Girardeau area. For example, there are a variety of intramural sports offered at Southeast such as dodgeball, basketball and volleyball. Another fitness option in the city of Cape is the nature trails.

“There’s a couple of trails that run through Cape,” Lucas said. “There’s one called Memorial Park. … They have a variety of different trails — lower intensity trails, higher intensity trails depending on length.”

Lucas also explained parks are there for people to be able to walk around and be active. Parks are also a nice free resource for students to use in their fitness journey

For more information on Southeast’s recreation center, visit their website.