Duke has great facilities for students to exercise. Even though the MMS schedule is hectic at times, if you manage your time well—maybe working out at least one weekday and again on the weekends—you’ll enjoy using the facilities and the health benefit they provide.

All students have easy access to Wilson Recreation Center and Brodie Recreation Center. Wilson, in particular, is only a 5-minute walk from Fuqua. You can also park in front of the gym after 5:00 p.m. if you own parking permit for the Science Drive Garage which is the one that Fuqua students use most frequently.

At Wilson you can use treadmills, cycles, lift weights, swim in the pool, climb the indoor wall, and use numerous other amenities. My favorite thing about the gym is that it offers a variety of group fitness classes—different types of yoga, cycling, Zumba, and more. All these are included as a recreation fee in your tuition, so make full use of them.

A floor with yoga mats on it faces a wall of windows looking out at trees, one of the places to exercise at Duke
Yoga at the Duke Student Wellness Center

As a yoga lover, I took classes at Wilson and the Duke Student Wellness Center. There are typically more time options available at Wilson that work with MMS students’ schedules. I usually took hatha yoga on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. I especially recommend Sunday morning yoga since it helped me get my weekend day off to a pleasant start.

The wellness center is also a 5-minute walk from Fuqua. It was built just a few years ago and has a peaceful atmosphere with a garden patio decorated with small stones and island-structures, reminiscent of a Japanese garden. During yoga class, you can also enjoy the great view of the green landscape through the large windows.

Cycles in the foreground and the Olympic swimming pool in the background
Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion

As a swimming lover, I enjoyed using Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion which is an indoor swimming pool inside Wilson. In case you are not familiar with American swimming pools as I was not, make sure to carry your own lock and flip flops to the locker room. Most importantly, you can get weekly and daily information about the schedule for all the swimming pools at Duke by subscribing to the recreation swimming information list on Duke University Mailing Lists. This will help you remember to check the weekly lap swim schedule and keep up with the alerts about any unexpected closings of the pools due to events or lightning.

Exercising during the program helped me stay healthy and happy. My quote for swimming and exercising is that ‘worries or stress are water-soluble.’ You can relive some stress by swimming and working out and also wash off your stress by taking a shower after you exercise—since it’s water-soluble (kidding but true). Last but not least, taking a fitness class with some classmates can be a good way to build your friendship as well. I hope all the prospective students reading this get to enjoy exercising during the MMS experience at Duke too!