In the 2013-2014 winter season, Keene State College students experienced one snow day and several official delays and cancellations by the college for weather.

Waking up to a snowy Keene winter-wonderland, some students might drift back to sleep. With a warm and welcoming option like this, getting up, putting on a pair of sneakers and bracing the brisk air to go to the gym may sound like a version of a nightmare.  With dipping temperatures and icy sidewalks, some students find it hard to be physically active during the winter months.

Keene State College junior, Taylor Luther, said, even though she is a frequent exerciser, being active in the winter months is a challenge. “I like to run outside—in the winter you can’t really do that. Also, getting to the gym is harder—it’s cold outside and you don’t want to walk there,” she said.

“It’s harder because a lot of the paths aren’t clear. There’s a lot of ice,” sophomore Douglas Young added, “Just in general, the winter weather can affect your body and make you not want to exercise.”

Despite the toll winter takes, students at KSC are still making time for physical activity. Director of Recreational Sports at KSC, Lynne Andrews, said, “Even at six a.m. in snowstorms, our gym is still packed.”

While going to the gym is not the only way to stay active, recreational sports host events throughout the year that provide students with goals to work towards with different ways to exercise.  According to Body Works Manager at Spaulding Gymnasium, Christine Miles, one of these events is the third annual indoor triathlon, which took place on Saturday. “It’s something fun and different,” Miles said. “We do it right before spring break so students have something to train for during the winter. We want people to have fun. It’s something to look forward to.”

While students no longer have the opportunity to compete in the triathlon, they can move on to completing a challenging team event come May. “In the spring we have our gauntlet fitness challenge. It will be on May second. It’s an outdoor event, it will be a little warmer and the snow will be gone. You participate in teams; it involves running and various physical challenges. Again, the idea is to give people something to train for and to have fun,” Miles said.

In addition to large events, recreational sports promote many weekly intramural leagues with a variety of different sports to choose from such as basketball, soccer and volleyball. Intramurals offer frequent competition, physical activity and social interaction.

According to Recreational Athletic  Coordinator and Evening Facility Manager, Katie Stewart, “Intramurals are a great way to continue the sports you loved to do in high school without the same high competitive level of a varsity or club sport.”

KSC senior Leddy Gallagher, who participates in intramural soccer, agreed with Stewart. “Soccer is a sport that I don’t get to play here at KSC, because I play a varsity sport in the fall and soccer is a fall sport. It lets me play a sport that I used to play when I was little and I get to stay involved in that,” Gallagher said.

Aside from having fun and competing, Gallagher said intramurals have the ability to give students a real workout. “I am exhausted after a soccer game, it’s a half hour of literally cardio,” she said.

Both Gallagher and Stewart agreed that intramurals are beneficial and enjoyable for students. “I think more people should do intramurals, it’s just a fun way to get exercise,” Gallagher added.

In addition, Miles described the importance of keeping active, especially during the winter. “In the winter, we’re all faced with the colds and flu. But the healthier you remain, the better you can ward off that kind of thing. I think exercising during these months is absolutely crucial,” Miles said.

While getting exercise during the winter is important for health, these activities have a variety of other benefits. “Our programs contribute to successful student life. They lead healthy lifestyles, help with stress reduction, help students utilize their time better, help them with their studies and it’s great social interaction,” Andrews said.

Despite the challenges of snow and cold weather, KSC students are still finding ways to be active. However, intramurals and large competitions are just a couple of ways students are getting exercise. Miles encouraged all students to make a visit to the recreation center to try to find a new activity. “I think students should try different things, whether it is group fitness classes or intramurals. They may find things they like and make it fun,” she said.

“There’s a lot to offer here; if you’re not interested you won’t seek it out, and if you don’t seek it out you’re going to miss out,” Miles added.


Diana Pimer can be contacted at

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