Swimming pools around campus offer alternatives to getting in shape


Students can get a good workout in by swimming laps in the Gabel Hall pool or they can attend open swim at night.

By Hailey Kurth

Students looking to get in shape have more options than weight machines and basketball courts – NIU offers aquatic fitness as well.

With pools at Gable and Anderson Halls, swimming is available to students every day.

“I know NIU offers student access to the pools, but I haven’t been able to take advantage of the opportunity yet,” said Katie Bialas, freshman special education major.

Campus Recreation recently expanded the hours of the swimming pools, as well.

“Last year, we increased our hours of operation for the pools to better meet the needs of our swimmers at NIU,” said Clint Svatos, graduate assistant for sport clubs and aquatics.

Aquatic fitness gives joints some time off that running or weight lifting can’t. According to a WebMD article, while a swimmer is immersed up to his or her waist, the body only has to support 50 percent of its body weight and only 10 percent when up to the neck.

According to the article, swimming uses all major muscle groups like shoulders, back, abs, legs, hips and glutes.

“Swimming works every muscle in your body,” said Samantha Martinus, freshman elementary education major and Anderson Hall lifeguard. “Many people who try swimming for the first time say they are sore in places they didn’t know they could be.”

NIU also offers aquatic fitness classes. The Campus Recreation website describes one of the classes as a “non-impact cardiovascular fitness and strength class in shallow and deep water.” The class may use water dumbbells, noodles and swim belts for different exercises.

“Currently, our water fitness class is scheduled for Tuesdays beginning Oct. 4,” Svatos said. “The class is available to students, faculty/staff, alumni and community members.”

The class costs $35 for students and $40 for non-students, Svatos said. NIU also provides other classes such as lifeguard training and one-on-one private swim lessons. More information, including swimming pool hours, can be found in the Aquatics section of the Campus Rec website.