Apr 182005
Authors: Megan Schulz

The citizens of Colorado are known for valuing fitness – Denver and Colorado Springs even made the top-10 list of fittest cities in the United States for 2005, according to www.about.com.

"People think of Colorado as being active," said Craig David, a personal trainer at the Student Recreation Center. "I do think fitness is trendy, honestly."

David, who is a Colorado native, said Colorado offers numerous outdoor activities and an environment that makes it easy to go outside and take advantage of the recreation.

"Two weekends ago I ran a triathlon but next week I'm going to go skiing," said David, a senior health and exercise science major. "There's always something to do. It's not like we've got smog and subways and things that prevent us from going outside and being active."

David also said the central location of the recreation center on campus makes it easier for students to be fit. The recreation center also works closely with Hartshorn Health Services to provide the student body with resources on fitness.

"We're trying to incorporate what we can do to make the rest of campus healthier," David said. "I think we've been able to provide a very positive environment."

Kari Joslyn, a group fitness instructor at the recreation center, agrees it is trendy to be active in Colorado.

"All the activities that are available (in Colorado), you have to be fit to do them," said Joslyn, a junior health and exercise science major. "One, the outdoor activities are fun. Two, I think Coloradans are more health conscious than other states."

Joslyn, who teaches Step Interval, Cardio Ball and Total Body Tone classes, is also from Colorado. She said growing up in the state influenced her to be more fit.

"I think living in Colorado influenced me just because a greater portion of the population is active and is physically fit," Joslyn said. "They're out there working out and doing their activities and it kind of influences you to do the same.

Tamar Cline, assistant strength and fitness director, said that it is not just fitness that is trendy in Colorado. A healthy lifestyle overall is popular.

"Everybody wears outdoor recreation type clothing here," Cline said. "Colorado is very liberal in nature and a lot of the state feeds off of organic and healthy alternative types of living."

Cline said there are multiple parks and ski resorts that support outdoor activities. The state itself even supports fitness because there are bike paths and jogging and bike trails within the cities.

"I think that it's very obvious that people move to Colorado a lot of the time because it's known as a recreational state," Cline said. "We have endless opportunities."

Cline is from Wyoming and said she noticed a definite change in the attitudes about fitness when she moved to Colorado. She also said the weather is harsh in Wyoming, and she believes weather is correlated with the amount of exercise a person does.

"For example, Houston is the fattest city in America. They don't have resources and it's really hot," Cline said. "The weather makes a huge difference. (Colorado) is so gorgeous, it keeps you entertained outside."

As far as the CSU campus goes, Cline thinks the university does a good job promoting fitness.

"On average in comparison to other colleges we're much more fit in activity-based (programming). I think our campus is more knowledgeable," Cline said. "We have a huge triathlon club. But then we have the average student population, too. It's still a pretty broad mix."

David agrees that CSU is a healthy university.

"I would consider our campus very healthy," David said. "A lot of people use bikes for transportation and take advantage of the mountains. There are triathlon clubs and marathon clubs."

The recreation center will soon begin offering spinning classes, an exercise program that utilizes a specially designed stationary bicycle and a series of cycling movements, according to www.healthatoz.com, for a price. Joslyn was recently trained to teach spinning and classes will start within in the next couple of weeks, she said.

"I think we're going to see a huge group come in for that," Cline said. "The amount and quality of fitness facilities we have around here is amazing."

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