Healthy Campus: Michigan State University

Julie Bitely

| 5 min read

Three miles east from Michigan’s capital city lies Michigan State University, or MSU.
Home to more than 50,000 students and beloved by an extensive alumni base, this school is full of opportunities and fun activities. Founded in 1855 as one of the first schools to teach agriculture science, MSU has grown in both size and academic excellence. With its nationally-known athletic and academic programs, Michigan State University has something to offer to everyone.
MSU’s campus contains a plethora of fitness centers and workout activities. Each on-campus neighborhood typically includes a workout center equipped with machines and weights. The campus also contains larger gyms, such as IM West, which contains machines, weights, indoor and outdoor pools, multiple basketball courts and more. MSU also offers a wide range of intramural sports. In addition, some outside-of-the-box fitness ideas offered on MSU’s campus include:
  • Kayaking the Red Cedar River: Photo Credit: David Shane “On the banks of the red cedar there’s a school that’s known to all…” The Red Cedar River, which is famously mentioned in the MSU fight song, cuts through the heart of campus. Consider kayaking down this waterway to not only gain a whole new perspective of the university, but also experience a good workout. The wide riverbanks and calm currents make for a relaxing trip. You will also have the opportunity to see firsthand some of Michigan’s native wildlife.
The Red Cedar River on MSU's campus
  • Ice Skate at Munn Arena: Have you ever ice skated in August? Well, now is the perfect opportunity! MSU’s Munn Ice Arena is open year-round and offers public ice skating. Try your hand at some daring twists and spins on ice this summer. Bring your own ice skates or rent a pair and have a wonderful time with friends and family. To check for available times, click here.
  • Forest Akers Golf Course: Golfing is a great sport to get into that can be played with friends. Forest Akers Golf Course is situated just behind MSU’s campus. Offering an 18-hole course, as well as a 9- hole course, this conveniently located golf course makes for the perfect outdoor activity.
  • Koru Mindfulness: MSU understands how stressful college life can be for students, as well as for the professors and faculty. To combat this, MSU offers Koru Mindfulness Meditation classes that are open to any student, staff or faculty member. The classes are offered every semester and are usually around 75 minutes per session. During the class, individuals are taught how to mindfully work with thoughts and emotions. You must enroll in a session to be allowed to participate. You can do so by going to the class website here.
  • J. Beal Botanical Gardens: Photo Credit: VasenkaPhotography MSU has a beautiful landscape, and one of the most beautiful parts is the botanical gardens. This hidden oasis transports its visitors from busy college life to relaxation and beauty. With a multitude of flowers intricately placed, this is a wonderful sight to see. Bring a good book, a good friend, or just yourself and take a walk through the gardens.
MSU Beal Garden flowers
MSU has an extensive amount of on-campus cafeterias. There are also many small convenience stores that offer small snacks throughout the day as well. Apart from these, MSU also offers a few other on-campus dining options.
  • MSU Dairy Store: Arguably, one of the best places to eat on-campus is the dairy store. With the locally-made cheese and ice cream offered from MSU’s diary production plant, this local eatery has an unbeatable taste of freshness.
  • MSU Food Trucks: Who doesn’t love a good food truck? For students who are on-the-go, or not nearby a cafeteria, they can stop at one of the many food trucks. The locations frequently change to accommodate all students and the menu rotates week-to-week to continue to bring enticing new dishes to campus. This fun on-the-go food option is bound to have amazing food you won’t get bored of.
A campus as large as MSU can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. While 50,000 students sounds overwhelming, MSU does an excellent job of bringing like-minded students together to form smaller close-knit communities inside this large university.
  • Clubs and organizations: With over 900 student organizations, there is bound to be one that interests you. Joining clubs offers a great way to immerse yourself in the MSU community while also meeting new people and finding lifelong friends. MSU has clubs for everyone; consider going to Sparticipation to learn more about specific clubs, which happens at the beginning of each school year, or check out the organizations online.
  • Athletic Events: Photo Credit: John Martinez Pavliga Nothing makes MSU come together more than cheering on their beloved athletic teams to victory. From the Izzone to Spartan Stadium, nothing makes this large campus feel more like a close-knit community then chanting the MSU fight song together. MSU even offers discounts on sports tickets for students.
Sparty during a sporting event
MSU is a great school because of the people who make it one, that’s why the school offers various programs to keep its members healthy.
  • Walking trails: Photo Credit: Infrogmation of New Orleans Keep the freshman 15 off by getting outside and walking! With over 5,200 acres, MSU is without a doubt a large campus. Various walking trails can be found throughout the university. Trails situated on MSU’s beautiful campus range from Wooded forests, to river habitats, to grassy plains on the outskirts of campus. Considering MSU was founded as an agriculture school, the landscaping is unique and well maintained. With the option of walking, running, biking, roller skating and more, there’s no excuse to not get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
a path on MSU's campus
  • Olin Health Center: Olin is the on-campus health center. This facility offers a wide range of helpful resources such as counseling and psychiatric services, physical therapy, a women’s health clinic, an allergy and immunizations clinic, transition-related care for transgender students, STI testing, general care and more. If something is bothering you, or you are feeling sick, do not hesitate to make an appointment today.
Be sure to check out some of these healthy, fun ideas to participate in around campus next time you visit or when the school year starts back up – Go Green!!
Use our checklist to make sure you’re ready for the new semester.
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Photo Credit: John M. Quick

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