The New Focus on Fitness

By Grace Aderibigbe

This spring, gym culture has been spreading through New Hyde Park’s student body. From football players trying to stay lean in their off season to first-time goers trying to figure out what all the hype is about, the gym has quickly become a pastime many students have added to their routine. With school being back to normal, though, many students have foregone their staple spring sport to make time for the gym in their busy schedules.

“I chose to start going to the gym during lacrosse season because I felt like it provides me with a much more personalized workout schedule," senior Nicole Lelay said. "It has helped me get into the habit of consistently working out before I go off to college."

During quarantine, many teenagers found themselves exercising by following “fad” workouts from Chloe Ting out of boredom or biking to hang out with friends from a distance. Nowadays, many teens have found more personal and meaningful reasons to exercise.

“There are a lot of reasons I started working out like lowering my body fat percentage, strengthening my core and staying healthy," senior Muskaan Kapoor said. "Overall, I would say the main reason I work out is so that I can be better than I was yesterday."

Source from Muskaan Kapoor and Max O'Connor

Junior Joel Massey and senior Muskaan Kapoor take a quick break while working out; senior Max O'Connor flexes his muscles after some grueling exercises.

“I work out because it is an escape from everything else," sophomore Kaitlyn Bell said. "It makes me feel better about myself and when I see progress it shows that my hard work has paid off and that's a pretty cool feeling."

New Hyde Park’s community is home to a number of different gyms, but according to some feedback, there are two main ones that divide the student body: UFC and LA Fitness. When it comes to preference, a multitude of students seem to enjoy UFC over LA Fitness, usually on account of the price difference.

“Prices have gone up dramatically since COVID ended, but they have the option of a 3-year plan, which dramatically reduces monthly costs and because I work out regularly, it has definitely provided itself as the more financially beneficial option,” senior Eric Orbon said.

This trend has not gone unnoticed by businesses, with many of them offering new deals and promotions to get teens to start going to their gym. Hosting what looks to be the most enticing deal of them all, Planet Fitness began offering free gym memberships for teens in early May. All throughout the summer, from May 18 through August 31, Planet Fitness is handing out free summer passes for teens ages 14-19.

“I think this is a great opportunity for teens to have something to do over the summer," junior Madison Reilly said. "I think many students will take the opportunity, even if it is only to try out once or twice, especially student athletes. Students now have the time and they do not have to worry about the cost, plus the gym is local."