CU-Boulder Rec Center can help with fitness and wellness goals

March 9, 2016

If you haven’t been to the CU-Boulder Recreation Center lately, you’re missing out. Between massage services, classes on women and self-defense, dietician consults, taping services, flu shot clinics and training for students who want to become personal trainers, the Rec Center is where students and CU-Boulder community members go to achieve health and fitness.

The Rec Center offers over 300,000 square feet of recreation activity space, including six basketball courts, five fitness studios, an ice rink, three tennis courts, four pools, four racquetball courts, an indoor turf gym, a climbing wall and a wellness suite.

"We want students to understand that being active is not only good for your body, it’s also good for yourself," said Denise Adelsen, assistant director of the Fitness and Wellness Program. "Having a lifelong commitment to being active in whatever arena you choose, whether it’s through classes or personal fitness, will help keep you going throughout your life."

More than 90 fitness classes are offered each week, ranging from yoga, Pilates and Zumba to cycling, TRX bootcamp and aquatics fitness. There are swim lessons, many types of dance, such as Cuban salsa, belly dance and hoop dance; a full array of martial arts and a variety of yoga styles, including acrobatic, Ayurveda, Hatha and paddleboard yoga. Classes average 15-25 attendees.

"The rec has amazed me and a lot of my friends with how much you can do there,” said Julie Bentley, a freshman in open option. "I've gone ice skating, bouldering and taken karate besides just using machines!"

Power Hour, held on Fridays at 5 p.m. at no charge, highlights a different class from the weekly schedule so that students can sample a variety of classes. Free classes are held the first week of the semester and during finals week.

The Wellness Suite offers a variety of services to help students lead a healthy, active lifestyle:

  • The Musculoskeletal Injury Clinic (MSK) provides screenings for minor injuries involving muscles and joints conducted by a physical therapist from Wardenburg Health Services on a walk-in basis. Students can also learn injury prevention techniques and strategies.
  • Students can stop by the Nutrition Resource Clinic for a free basic consultation with a registered dietitian for a variety of concerns ranging from diabetes/hypoglycemia to disordered eating, food allergies, healthy weight gain or loss and sports nutrition.
  • In Massage Therapy, certified massage therapists are available to assist with relaxation, stress reduction, sports recovery, improving circulation and decreasing muscle spasms. They specialize in Shiatsu, sports, rehabilitation and pain management techniques. All sessions are 45 minutes and provided by Wardenburg Health Services. Massage rate for Rec Center members is $45 per visit. Payment is required at time of service.
  • In the Training Room an athletic trainer is available to assist students and members with injury evaluation and assessment, rehabilitation/therapeutic exercises, emergency care, concussion evaluations and management and taping services. For taping services take your own tape or purchase tape at Guest Services for $2 per roll.
  • The Flu Clinic will return in Fall 2016.

A staff of 10 personal trainers is on hand to help Rec Center members reach their fitness goals. Trainer Time is held once a week for 30 minutes and is free to members. This program allows those unsure about personal training to meet with one of the professionals for a better understanding of the benefits of personal training along with all of the different types of equipment at the Rec Center.

"If you feel intimidated about trying personal training, meeting with a trainer is a great way to ease in and connect with the professionals here," said Annie Tuck, fitness coordinator. "Everything we do with our classes, programs and instructors is to make sure students are comfortable and feel like they have a home base here. That’s a big goal for us."

For students who want to learn to be a trainer, the Personal Training Prep Course offered at the Rec Center helps prepare them to take the personal training certification. Rec Center professionals spend 10 weeks preparing these students on the material covered in the certification, but it is their responsibility to then sign up and take the test on their own.

The Rec Center is open to CU-Boulder students, faculty and staff, as well as CU retirees. Student membership at the Rec Center is covered through student fees.

"Lifelong activity is our goal," said Adelsen. "The teaching level of our instructing staff and trainers is as high or even higher as anywhere else in the community."

More information is available at the CU-Boulder Rec Center website at or call 303-492-6051 or stop by the administrative offices on the third floor of the Rec Center.