By Mallory Graves
Staff reporter

As summer approaches, students are in a hurry to get in shape.

Kyley Pipkin, athletic training freshman, works out every night except on Saturdays.

Pipkin said, “I love working out, specifically my legs. Basically any leg workout I like. My gym has this projector screen that you can watch classes on, so I like to do yoga with the projector class. They also have this ab machine that is fun to do and use.”

Pipkin has a membership at Anytime Fitness back home in Crescent, Oklahoma, and is able to use her membership to work out at Anytime Fitness in Ark City.

Zachary Beneke, sport management sophomore, gets his exercise on and near campus. He said, “I like to run around the neighborhood behind Cole Hall and I work out three days out of the week at the weight room here. My favorite equipment to use is the free weights,” said Beneke.

Beneke said, “I’ve only been doing this for three weeks because I want to prepare myself for all of the hiking that I will do at summer camp in Glorieta, New Mexico. I am a camp counselor that is in charge of leading the kids on hikes, and Bible studies. We hike about 10-15 miles a day. I have been working on changing my diet to only drinking water, and eating salads for dinner. As for lunch, I like to eat the Jinx sandwiches. They are pretty healthy for the most part. For breakfast, the caf serves good biscuits and bacon or sausage. The most challenging thing is breaking habits such as eating fried foods and drinking soda.”

Working out can lead to an opportunity for fitness competition.

Christian Ramirez, sport management freshman competed in the National Physique Competition Texas Cup in Houston his senior year of high school and made it to the finals. The competition lasted about three days and he prepared for about a month. “I did not meal prep until I competed, but I cut out all of my carbs, so I could burn through fat faster to make weight. That wasn’t even the craziest thing, though. I had to get a spray tan for the show and it was weird. Overall, it was a cool experience,” said Ramirez.

Getting in shape is not the only reason why students hit the gym. Finals are right around the corner, and for some, exercise is a stress reliever.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 14 percent of people exercise regularly to manage their stress because it is the healthiest way to cope.

Pipkin said, “You can tell the days that I am stressed because I’m in the gym for an hour longer than I normally am. It definitely helps me relieve a lot of stress. Working out helps me get my mind off of things. When I am sore or in pain, I am not focusing on what’s going on in my life.”

Ramirez said, “It is finals time. It is the end of the year and I am pretty stressed out, so I am working out to help me relieve some of that stress. I don’t have a lot of control in life, I guess, so I work out because it is something that I can control.”

Mallory Graves is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at mallory.graves@sckans.edu.