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Getting fit, staying fit

by Allen Artis, staff writer


In an age when people don’t depend on their physical abilities to survive, but rather their mental capabilities, it becomes more and more natural to not be in top physical shape. This seems especially true in the United States, where a rather large percentage of the population is considered obese. It seems many college students these days are aware of this, and spend several hours a day in a gym to “stay fit.” If not, they’re at least thinking about it. Unfortunately, some are using supplements that might endanger their health.

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Brian Mercy, a communications major at HPU, admits to being “a gym rat.” Mercy’s ambition comes from his desire to keep his body—as well as his mind—as strong and healthy as possible.

This attitude seemed to resonate throughout much of the HPU student body. In a survey given to 100 students ranging in age from 18 to 35, 62 percent said they exercised regularly. Of the 62 percent, 35 percent said they exercise with the intent to increase physical attractiveness, while 47 percent did it solely for health reasons. Ten percent said they exercised because they were required to, due to involvement in a sport, and the remaining eight percent cited exercise as a hobby.

Cassandra Tyson, an HPU alumna, is also part of the majority as she cited physical health as her main reason for exercising regularly, and physical appearance as a secondary reason for staying fit. She said, “if you asked me a couple years ago, the reason would have been for [cheerleading] competition, but not so much anymore.”

Yuki Ohashi also an HPU alumna, doesn’t compete in any sports, but she puts in her time at the gym, as she works out almost every day of the week. This commitment stems from her career objectives, which include writing for dive magazines.

Others claim to be too busy to really work out on a regular basis. One such student is Jayme Haitsuka, a full-time student at HPU who also works long hours at her part-time job. In addition to her busy schedule, Haitsuka is one of many college students who have other financial priorities. “I would like to start working out,” Haitsuka said, “if I could afford a gym membership.”

Ohashi said she takes supplements when working out. She said she drinks protein shakes, and takes a diet pill every so often, when it’s necessary to burn off that layer of fat, even if she is the only one able to see it. Most athletes, like Joe Forbes, a former HPU student, said. “I’m careful with what I take, so I’ll be all right.” Forbes is ambitious in his desire to lose the belly he’s known all his life. However, Forbes said he is being cautious, and is not doing anything that could harm his own body. Others, however, who want to see results faster, often put themselves in danger by taking more than just supplements. Forbes sees these people each day in the gym. Forbes said, “You can just tell who’s on [steroids]. They’re all super-pumped up, acting like beasts or something. Plus, they sweat like crazy.”

Forbes has witnessed several young men in local locker rooms injecting each other with steroids. They were not doing it just to get fit, but to gain an edge on their competition. These men, athletes in a school athletic program, “didn’t really even try to hide it.”

According to the poll, most HPU students rejected steroid use. Tyson has seen athletes who think nothing of injecting themselves with artificial testosterone, only to end up hurting themselves. One of Tyson’s friends was taking steroids in order to be more powerful on the football field. His steroid use resulted in his collapse, due to a heart attack.

Virtually, all those interviewed who work out on a regular basis knew of someone who used steroids.

While many people use steroids, the majority of those HPU students surveyed prefer their exercise natural, without steroids or other drugs. Anthony Victoria, a communications major who works out solely for health benefits, summed up much of the student body’s sentiment about steroids: “It kind of defeats the purpose of working out, because your body’s gonna break down sooner or later if you keep putting [steroids] inside you. I personally work out to stay healthy, and hopefully keep my body running smoothly.”



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