Upcoming and Ongoing Recreation Center Activities


Ananth Prabhu, Health & Sports Editor

The NEIU Recreation Center, also known as the Physical Education Complex (PEC), is a place to hang out and have fun before, after and in between classes. It hosts dozens of activities, and there are more activities being added as the semester continues.


The available activities include instructed group fitness classes, clubs, sport intramurals, a rock climbing wall, open gymnasium activities, such as shooting baskets, walking/running track and fitness center machines. The only necessary item needed to gain access to all these events is an NEIU student ID card.


There are currently five group fitness classes available this semester. The Total Body Aerobics Class takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in Studio 1. The purpose of this class is to increase heart rate, strengthen the heart and intensify breathing rate while doing vigorous movement activities in unison with other people.


The Beginner Yoga Class takes place Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. in Studio 1. The purpose of this class is to practice meditative breathing rituals, contorting the body in various positions, maintain balance and relax, while doing all of it synchronously with other participants.


The Sports Performance Group Fitness Class allows all participants to train and help achieve desirable performance goals. This class takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. and Fridays from 10 – 11 a.m. in Studio 2.


The newest class that has just begun at the PEC is a self-defense class. This class takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. in Studio 1. The purpose of the self-defense class is to learn and be able to incapacitate an attacker or thief in non-lethal ways.


The striking class is also a fairly new class. It takes place on Wednesdays from noon to 1 p.m. in Racquetball Court 4. The intent of this class is to teach how striking attacks are performed in mixed-martial arts and boxing.


There is a variety of equipment available to students for all different interests related to fitness. Students are able to utilize boxing gloves and punching bags for the activity. This class is great for anybody who has unwanted aggression and needs to release it in a healthy way.


There will be a sixth instructed class that debuts sometime in October, and it will feature Zumba and dance.


There are currently three clubs that currently meet up in the PEC on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The Judo/Jiu-jitsu Club meets on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. in Studio 2. Judo is a type of martial art founded in Japanese history.


The signature move during a judo match is to pin the competitor, thereby immobilizing further attacks from the rival. Jiu-jitsu originated in Brazil, and it is set with the premise of self-defense with hand-to-hand combat and submission holds.


If a more tool-based self-defense activity aligns with your swagger, then Boxing Club may be the right match for you. Boxing Club meets on Tuesdays from 4 – 6 p.m. in Racquetball Court 4. The club’s goal is teaching students to wear boxing gloves, so then they can learn how to throw punches on punching bags, and learn how to avoid punches from opponents, while exhausting the opponents from their failed punches.


If combat sports are not your style, and you would rather move rhythmically to music, then Tropical Eagles Dance Club may be an appropriate fit for you. This dance club meets on Tuesdays from 4 – 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 4 – 6 p.m. in 1158D in the PEC.


Whether you know how to dance or want to learn how to dance, your existing skill set does not matter. You can learn hip-hop, belly dancing, classical dancing and other choreographic dances. The premise of the club is to help all students to overcome stage fright and dance in front of others.


If there are other sporting clubs that are of interest to you, it only takes you and one additional person to start a club, such as fencing, gymnastics, floor hockey, or badminton.


PEC currently offers four intramural sports. Intramural sports require teams to play, keep score and get ranked among other college and university teams who do the same sports. Joining an intramural league is as simple as signing up at IMleagues.com and finding the NEIU entry. Refer to the following table for the schedule of intramural sports.


Intramural Sport Day Time Location
Pickleball Mondays 3 – 4 p.m. Auxiliary Gymnasium
3v3 Soccer Tuesdays 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Auxiliary Gymnasium
4v4 Flag Football Wednesdays 3 – 4 p.m. Outside Fields
3v3 Volleyball Thursdays 3 – 4 p.m. Main Gymnasium


Several other sporting activities are offered at the PEC, and these are not part of an instructed class or club. For instance, students and community members can climb the rock climbing wall. Students and members can climb mounted rocks vertically to the ceiling of the auxiliary gymnasium. There is no need to fear the height of the wall because students and members will be harnessed to safety ropes the entire time with multiple safety checks in place.


There are also climbing shoes to help you gain stable footing on the rocks. Let yours truly and graduate assistant, Keith Zhan, handle your safety. The only thing you, the climber, must focus on is trying to ‘send it’ and elevate yourself to greater heights.


However, if heights are really not your style, there is a bouldering wall which is basically a horizontal climb approximately one meter off the ground. The climbing and bouldering walls are open on Thursdays from 2 – 4 p.m. in the auxiliary gymnasium.


Another freeplay sporting opportunity is to pick up soccer games, or like the rest of the world calls it: football, because the players use only their feet. It takes place on Thursdays from 5 – 7 p.m. in the auxiliary gymnasium.  


Last, but not least, there is the appropriately named handball, which is like soccer, but you use your hands instead of your feet to get the ball into the opponent’s goal. Handball takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 – 9 p.m. in the main gymnasium.


If you do not have time to attend the variously timed instructional classes or clubs, please do not fret. There are still activities that you may pursue individually. For example, you can use the second-floor fitness center, which includes cardiovascular machines, targeted-muscle weight machines and free weights.

You will be able to condition, tone and strengthen your various body parts. The cardiovascular machines include treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, a stair climber and rowing machines.

The targeted muscle weight machines allow you to sit or lay in a particular position while moving your upper and/or lower extremities in repetitive flexions and extensions. There are some abdominal torso machines as well to enhance your middle bodily regions.

If you feel more confident in your muscle-targeting knowledge, you can use the free weights and medicine balls to lift. If you want to do individual sports like kicking a soccer ball into a goal or shooting basketballs in baskets, you can rent that equipment from the equipment room.

If you want to play non-athletic games, you can even play table tennis by yourself by propping half the table up or playing billiards. Whether it is team sports or individualistic activities you seek, the recreation center seems to have something for everybody. Let’s play!