Even if you can’t scrape together the $19.95 (plus shipping and handling) for the latest As Seen On TV exercise gadget, fear not, gentle student: There are other options out there for staying in shape.

Whether you’re looking to sculpt your beach bod or just need a way to justify the Eat Pizza Every Night Diet, there are cheap, safe, and effective routes available to you. We checked in with Gene Sessoms, the College of Charleston’s director of campus recreational services, to get the skinny on how not to be fat. We’ve also added our two cents.

Go intramural

(843) 953-5559


Turns out intramural sports aren’t just for dudes who wear visors anymore. College of Charleston’s intramural program has something for everyone, including the flat-footed and the terminally uncoordinated. The office of campus recreation lists 18 sports, including wiffleball, handball, indoor soccer, and table tennis. You can even sign up to take your fellow students on in a game of Horse. Some are not offered every semester, so check the website to find out when and where to register for your sport of choice. If nothing else suits you, there’s even intramural chess. It’s only a matter of time before they start offering chess boxing (just Google it). And don’t forget quidditch, which is technically a club.

Train for the Bridge Run


Feel like stopping traffic in a stampeding horde with 30,000 of your closest friends? In March, Charleston hosts one of the nation’s premier road races, the Cooper River Bridge Run. Measuring 10 kilometers (that’s runner-speak for 6.2 miles), the race course starts in Mt. Pleasant just over Shem Creek. It takes you west on Coleman Boulevard, across the city’s most iconic piece of civil engineering, then down Meeting and King streets to Marion Square, which is littered with tents offering sweet, sweet race swag. It’s no run in the park, though. If you want to make it through without sucking wind, we advise that you lace up those running shoes today and start pounding some pavement. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is basically the only hill in town, so you’ll want to do some of your workouts in its ample bike-ped lane.

Hit the gym(s)

30 George St./80 Wentworth St.


If you’re a College of Charleston student, you’ve got a few gym memberships built into your tuition, so you might as well take advantage of them. For top-of-the-line exercise equipment, hit up the second floor of the Stern Student Center, where you’ll find treadmills, elliptical trainers, recumbent exercise bikes, and resistance training machines. Stern is also the building where you’ll find the swimming pool. Then there are the Johnson and Silcox Centers (30 George St.), which house courts for basketball, volleyball, badminton, and raquetball, as well as a small running track where 14-and-a-half laps equal one mile. And if all the other gyms are full, fear not: Part of your student fees go to cover a membership at all 12 locations of the East Shore Athletic Club. Bear in mind, though, that you need to register for this every semester at the downtown location (80 Wentworth St.).

Sweat it out

557 King St., Suite A. (843) 513-3400


Charleston Power Yoga co-owner Beth Thomas says some college students dig her studio’s 90-degree thermostat setting because it means they can drink beer the night before and then sweat out the toxins in the morning. Students get serious discounts at the downtown spot: $12 instead of $15 for a drop-in class, $50 instead of $65 for five classes, and $75 instead of $110 for 10 classes. And if you’re only bikram-curious, you can always dip into a free class any Friday from 4:15 to 5:15 p.m. Thomas describes her classes as “pretty athletic,” so it might be best to start off with the Power 1 sessions on Tuesday and Thursday nights, where the temperature is set to only 80 degrees.