OU’s rec center is inviting students back


Maggie Willard

Students working out at OU’s rec center. The center is open to members of the campus community.

Fitness at Oakland University allows students to get more in contact with their physical selves, but the Recreation Center is striving to go even further than just the physical aspects of working out and connect the mental part as well.

A new gym opened in August 2019 and was only available for a semester and a half before the pandemic of COVID-19 broke out, causing the rec center to close its doors. 

“It’s kind of like a workout circuit, it’s like a full body circuit platform,” Hailey Forbes, Fitness Program & Services Coordinator said. “If you actually go on to the court you’re able to see that there’s different stations. There’s a core station, there’s lunge, squat and push and pull, there’s seven stations total.”

The new fitness court, the Priority Health Fitness Court is located outside in front of the rec, so community members often find themselves using it because of how accessible it was. 

“The court is open to anyone, community people can use it, Oakland people can use it, it doesn’t matter,” Becky Lewis, Associate Director of University Recreation and Well-being said. “They’re welcome to do their own workout on it, a body weight work out, or they can use the fitness court app on their phone.”

The fitness court app allows access to sample workouts and different ways to use the machines. 

The rec center will also be hosting group exercise classes, which will be separate from the app for the community to get more involved in. This group exercise can offer more in person examples and motivation for the workouts. The schedule for those classes are to be announced closer to the fall semester. 

“Mental health, I think is the key component to people’s overall health,” Lewis said. “When your mental health is in check, your physical health is easier to get into check, even your social and spiritual health, everything plays together.” 

Lewis sees a connection within student’s mental and physical health within their school work as well and is looking forward to to having students back this fall. 

For students that are not able or ready to come back to the in person gym setting, OU will c continue to offer online components to get students as engaged as they can.

The rec center will be using their Instagram, @ourecwell to their benefit for “tasty Tuesdays” to show students health snack or meal options they can easily do within their apartment or dorm. 

“Here at the rec in general, we really push working out and staying active, it’s fun, and working out and having that community can build your mental health,” Forbes said. 

Cleaning procedures are still in check, while there are plenty of cleaning stations throughout the gym for users to be cleaning their machines before and after use. Also, if people coming in feel most comfortable still wearing a mask they are allowed to. 

Oakland students interested in attending any classes at the  rec center or using the new fitness court have free access by bringing their Grizzly ID to the front desk to sign in. Also, benefit eligible employees have free access. As for community members there are plans of one, four, or 12 months to subscribe to the fitness center.