Rec center gets new exercise equipment

Communications Staff — November 25, 2008

New weight machines in the Health and Recreation Center will provide an opportunity for healthier and more effective exercise by students and faculty at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, according to Lee Sexton, supervisor of recreation and student activities.

In October, the rec center replaced 19-year-old weight machines with 17 new Paramount machines. All the free weight benches were also replaced.

“This equipment is easier on the body,” Sexton said. “The engagement of each machine is softer when you initially lift, which means it’s easier on the joints. Being manufactured 15 years later, the angles at which the machines engage the muscles are more accurate.”

Sexton said the new equipment is a valuable asset for the average of 270 people who use the rec center every day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays an average of nearly 400 people will benefit from the new acquisitions, he said.

“We need to say thanks to the administration for approving (the purchase of this equipment),” Sexton said. “This is an obvious statement about the administration’s belief that recreation and health is important for students—to provide a facility and maintain it.”

Students should make an effort to work exercise into their weekly routine, he said, because physical fitness usually translates into increased mental energy and a stronger immune system. Both of those benefits serve ministers well, Sexton noted.

“The list is long of ministers who pursued some kind of physical fitness, whether it was C.S. Lewis taking walks or whether it was Adoniram Judson going on horseback rides. That, in all likelihood, had some type of bearing on their longevity in ministry,” he said.

The most successful exercise routines occur when students have an intentional plan rather than visiting the rec center when they have some extra time, Sexton said.

“A lot of students work it into their school schedules,” he said. “Those that are most consistent with it are those that fit it into their school schedules.”

If ministers will develop good exercise habits while in seminary, they will set a beneficial pattern for their entire ministries, he said.

“Many students get so involved in their academics that they set their physical health aside, and it actually deteriorates during seminary,” Sexton said. “So if you can build good habits during seminary of maintaining your health and fitness, then chances are that will carry into your ministry.”

He urged students to focus on exercise before a health crisis forces them to start exercising later in life.

“A lot of students set it aside, and it’s not until they have some type of crisis later in their life that they decide, ‘Hey, I need to do this,’” he said.

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