When I came to college, I knew I wanted to keep up with exercising regularly since I wasn’t planning on playing sports, but I knew it would be tough to fit in with such a busy schedule. Surprisingly, though, I found a ton of ways to get some activity throughout the day, and it’s been a really nice part of my routine every day (ok, most days). From the beautiful scenery outdoors, to the awesome gyms Penn has to offer, to the friends you can make, exercising at Penn is a great way to de-stress and have some fun.
Running in Philadelphia
One of my favorite things to do on a beautiful day in Philadelphia is going on a run by the river. The Schuylkill River Trail is a bustling paved path with a great view of the water, the Boathouses, and the Philly skyline. Any time of the day, you’ll see families out for a stroll with their kids, people going for a morning jog, and young professionals
taking their daily commute to work. Besides getting a nice breezy bout of exercise, you also get a much-needed break from school and stress, and you might even see some cute dogs!
Hiking in the Wissahickon
Only about 20 minutes away from Penn is a vast park with over 50 miles of trails for biking and hiking. It’s amazing that you can go from being right in the middle of the city to feeling like you’re completely surrounded by nature. Penn Outdoors Club leads trips to the park every now and then, but you can go anytime by bike or public transit if hiking
is something you really like to do. Something about walking around in the trees, listening to all the little sounds of nature makes you feel so refreshed – it’s the perfect study break!
By far the most convenient way to exercise at Penn has to be going to Pottruck (one of Penn’s gyms), especially if you live on campus. I usually roll out of bed early in the morning and can get there in around five minutes – perfect for people like me who don’t like getting up any earlier than they have to. When I first visited Penn, I was SO impressed by everything that Pottruck had to offer. There’s a super tall climbing wall, two full-size swimming pools, a floor entirely devoted to cardio machines, a floor entirely devoted to strength machines, and, on top of that, a ton of extras like spinning studios,
Pilates machines, and dance studios. The amount of options is almost overpowering. My favorite thing by far at Pottruck would have to be the group exercise classes, though. The schedule has a wide of variety of classes, including weight training, yoga, cycling, Zumba, and kickboxing. When I started going to the same classes week after week, I got to know the instructors and other students who also went regularly. It’s a good feeling to remember that there’s a smiling, familiar face waiting for you at the gym, and that you get to do an awesome workout with them right by your side, with fun music
and great instructors powering you through the whole time.
College can get stressful, and it can get busy, but having the opportunity to move my body and meet new people every day really helps me ward off the stress and feel happy. If there’s anything I recommend while being in college, it’s to take that time to let out your stress and care for yourself. Philadelphia and Penn definitely make it fun and
easy to do those things.
-Olivia G, C'20