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Osher students eligible for West campus gym membership

March 15, 2010

“The wise, for cure, on exercise depend.” – 17th century English poet John Dryden

Exercise has come a long way since the days of 17th century English poet and playwright John Dryden. Gone are the jousts, the dueling matches, the fox hunts. Today, a wide variety of fitness machinery and opportunities can be found under a single roof. And the activities offered are no longer limited to the privileged.

In fact, at Arizona State University’s West campus, the Diablo Performance Recreation Center not only has the equipment and a long list of amenities within its 6,000-square-foot fitness facility, it is opening up its membership for the first time to a new group of students – adults enrolled in ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute courses.

Located at 4701 W.Thunderbird Road in northwest Phoenix, the West campus is one of five current Osher locations across the Valley providing a wide range of courses designed to make learning fun again for students 50 years and older.

“We know how important physical activity is to good health,” said Keith Munson, director of the fitness center that is located on the lower level of the University Center Building (UCB). “This is an excellent opportunity to introduce lifelong learners to the fitness center and a regular regimen of exercise.”

Membership through May 31 is available to Osher students for $60. After March 22, membership through May 31 is $40.

“I know that once these students see our facility, any sense of intimidation they may have will immediately disappear,” said Munson, who is offering tours during fitness center hours. “All of our cardio equipment has ‘cardio theaters,’ so you can watch your favorite TV show while you exercise. We have selectorized weight machines that help with range of motion without the need to balance, like you’d find with free weights. We have Wii Fit and Wii Sports that are popular with students and faculty.”

The fitness center offers weekly group fitness sessions and personal trainers are available for a low fee. Lockers and showers are available. Entry into free intramural tournaments such as bocce ball, ping pong and billiards is also available to Osher students.

Munson said there’s a cerebral element that should not be overlooked as Osher students consider purchasing a fitness center membership.

“I think they may also find new energy being on a college campus, being around younger students," he said. "Because of the friendliness of our staff and the personal touches, they may build rewarding and energizing relationships with our students.

“The benefits outweigh the risks. People with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis can exercise safely, and many of these conditions can be improved through exercise.”

Fitness center hours are 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday; 2 p.m.-6 p.m., Sunday.

For more information, visit the fitness center Web site,, or call the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at 602-543-6440 or

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is part of Arizona State University’s ASU Online and Extended Campus. Nationwide, over 120 university-affiliated Osher Institutes, from Maine to Hawaii, work to provide a diverse repertoire of intellectually stimulating short courses, lectures, and workshops for mature adults seeking to expand and share their knowledge while meeting new friends and forming new social networks. ASU Lifelong Learning courses are taught by ASU faculty, emeritus faculty and talented community instructors who bring a lifetime’s worth of experience and knowledge to classrooms across the Valley.

Valley locations include ASU’s West and Polytechnic campuses, Sun City Grand, Sun City Festival, Sun City Merrill Ranch and Tempe Public Library.