When it comes to getting a good workout on campus, there really are no options more convenient than the Wellness Center.
With an exuberant amount of cardio machines and an indoor track, it’s a great spot to take advantage of on campus.
But for those looking to get a good workout outdoors, there’s nothing quite as accessible as running what students and faculty alike have come to refer to as “the loop.”
The loop is essentially a track that runs entirely around campus. Though there are a few different routes that can be taken, traditionally it goes from the Alex Rodriguez Park all the way to the School of Communication, around the back of Doctors Hospital and back through Ponce De Leon Blvd.
The 2.88-mile track is an option for those who want to get in their dose of cardio for the day while enjoying the staple South Florida sunshine.
“The loop is probably the most popular running route on campus for students,” senior Brian Moschetti said. “During the heat of the day, it’s probably not as big, but in the morning or evening you’ll see plenty of students out there.”
Part of the loop’s appeal, apart from being able to run outside, is that it can be done at any time.
“It never closes. I can run it at 1 a.m. if I wanted,” Moschetti said.
It’s hard to deny the level of accessibility this trail gives to students, faculty and community members alike.
“I run it because it’s convenient and I love this campus,” senior Matthew Gabrielli said.
Although the traditional route might include running along the backside of Doctors Hospital, there are a few ways of making the trail unique and adopting it to fit different running styles.
Some beginning runners might want to ignore the hospital route altogether, or cut across campus on some portions.
Those looking for a difficult run might take the trail multiple times, or include the outskirts of the University Village and Red Road into their runs.
Of course, it is always recommended that anybody looking to run the loop takes steps to make sure that they are staying safe.
Staying visible while going on a run is important, whether going at night or in the middle of the day. If running at night, it is suggested that runners go in pairs, and stay in well-let areas to stay safe. During the day, be sure to avoid areas with major traffic, and never make any assumptions about drivers. Carrying a phone and some cash can also help in case of emergencies.
For some, electing to go for a run might provide some temporary stress relief.
“It’s very relaxing and an easy way to get things off your mind,” Moschetti said. “If I have a test to study for sometimes I run it to get my mind off it.”
Of course, the nearly three-mile run might seem like a challenge to inexperienced runners thinking about taking it on for their first time.
However, Moschetti argues that once that first run is finished, it becomes easier and more enjoyable.
“If you’re not a runner, just try it. If you get two or three runs under your belt, you’re good to go for the next four years. Plus, its good to see the other side of campus,” he said.