Investing in fitness exercise equipment can reap long term benefits such as providing the best gymnasium services to Samoa.
The National University of Samoa (N.U.S.) Gymnasium is one of those facilities built with government funding as one of the venues for the 2007 South Pacific Games, in which Samoa was the host.
A lot has been said about wasting millions of tala on facilities that are either being unused or not given to sporting organisations for development use.
Now some sporting bodies have pushed for access to those facilities and are now being used to develop their own respective sports.
Even international events have been made possible through the availability of those multimillion tala gym facilities.
In this case, the N.U.S. Gym ever since have been consistently carrying out daily fitness programmes, after hour exercise sessions, personal and professional strength programmes with its staff and non-staff members.
Even better, it is always the setting for final exams and end of year graduation ceremonies.
But the great news is that lives have been transformed at this gym through its aerobics, anaerobics and flexibility exercise programmes with the help of its most experienced fitness instructors, Punaoleola Mua’itau Tiupita-Mua’itau and Uilisone Kaisala.
“We are here to ensure that we provide the best exercise programmes not just for N.U.S staff but for the public as well,” Mrs Mua’itau said. “A lot of people often think it is expensive to make use of our facilities but we have special packages for our customers.”
“Most people hold back because they do not have the thirst for knowledge, or drive to follow things through. The secret to committing to getting fit is finding a way to enjoy your workouts.”
“It is like when you talk about healthy living, it carries more stigma with it than it should. Most people think of expensive salads and endless hours just to do a simple exercise when it should be about fun workouts,” Mrs Mua’itau added. “Not only that, but other people fail to try because of the mind-set that colleagues, friends or families would think of when trying to stay and look fit.”
“We have challenge programmes open to the public (at a reasonable small fee) mainly to encourage not only being healthy and fit, but to enjoy the lifelong experiences of maintaining strength and flexibility in one’s immune system.”
A group of 12 is on the fourth week of an on-going six weeks challenge at the gym. Five of them are non-NUS staff members mainly the public service.
“The reason most people fail in their attempt to get fit is not because of inadequate workout methods or dieting techniques,” Mr Kaisala said. “It is about the thirst for knowledge to make a difference in one’s lifestyle by exercising regularly.”
“It is one of the most common problems that many individuals struggle with on a regular basis to stay fit and healthy,” Mr Kaisala added. “Some people would have their own excuses; many will say that they’re too busy to go to the gym, while others would say that it’s too expensive to buy their own equipment.”
For the whole group, it was a very difficult start when feeling pain and strained muscles overnight though Mrs Mua’itau and Mr Kaisala never gave up encouraging them to continue.
“We feel that our customers are our utmost concern and we take particular exercise programmes for certain individuals not to an extreme, one will give up so easily,” Mr Kaisala said. “We should pick up the strength level and eye each customer of how we can apply different exercise techniques.”
Many people think exercise is always a pain, but it can be lots of fun. “To have a team of experienced trainers to be on your feet all the time is a big push for me,” one of the participants, Margaret Rimoni-Yoshida said. “I can feel a huge change in my fitness level despite the fact it is still a long way for me to go.”
Said another participant of the challenge, Dan Pemila: “It should not end here once the fitness challenge is over but to keep that momentum with the right mindset and the right group of people, especially the support from your families and friends.”
With two more weeks to go, Mr Pemila has lost five kilograms already in which he was grateful to have been part of the NUS Gym Challenge.
“It is an opportunity for the public to make use of these facilities, N.U.S. has all the amenities you need and the expertise of its staff is something that you should take advantage of,” Eileen Hazelman said.
“I am thankful to the Government of Samoa for building such an important facility within the institution,” added Ms Hazelman. “As a staff member, it is only a walk away from my office and spends 45 minutes to exercise.”
The N.U.S. gym enables the university to offer students, staff and the community a chance to get fit with a range of sports activities. The seating capacity is over a thousand. There are two squash courts, one single and one double. The weights room is well equipped with modern exercise machines. The gym also consists of two medium size conference rooms’ upstairs and a good parking area. A huge veranda facing the ocean, an ideal space for family or business barbeque on sports day. The facility has twenty eight restrooms and sixteen showers. There are two volleyball courts, one netball court and a basketball court.
It is also rented out to family reunions, government ministries and Sport Associations. The gym is used twice a year for enrolment and exams and three times a year for graduation ceremonies.
The Faculty of Applied Science (F.O.A.S) opened its Health Clinic at the gym in 2013. The clinic offers free check-up for students, staff and the community. Donations are welcomed.
The gym is open from Monday to Friday at 8am-7pm. The gym also conducts fitness classes such as aerobics high low, tabata, circuit and boxing from Monday to Friday. Squash and Weights are from 8am to 7pm.
Lausinasina Samoan Siva lessons are at 11am on Saturdays.
For more information about N.U.S Gym and its daily schedule, visit our website www.nus.edu.ws, Facebook - www.facebook.com/TheNationalUniversityofSamoaor twitter@NUSSamoa