The University of Alabama at Birmingham's Campus Recreation Center opens its doors to the community, encouraging fit-seekers of all ages to get active. The all-inclusive 150,000-square-foot facility has it all: swimming pools, cardio and weight-training equipment, aerobics studios, and an indoor track. For those who like to mix calorie burning with friendly competition, the site also hosts basketball, racquetball, badminton, and volleyball courts; an indoor soccer and floor hockey field; and even a climbing wall. Kids aren't left out of the fun, either. The center hosts kids' day camps, packed with athletic activities and arts and crafts, and welcomes youths to imitate mountain goats on the rock wall or play racquetball in the supervised Kid Zone.
As part of the University of Alabama, it makes sense that UAB Campus Recreation's nutritionist doesn't just dole out commands—she takes time to teach her clients, just like a good professor or wizard's mentor. In fact, Alex Cone balks at being thought of as the "food police" since nothing could be further from the truth. She works right alongside clients to create healthy, practical nutrition plans that aim to expand, rather than restrict, their current diet. She and the center's massage therapists also hold classes about nutrition and fitness.
Jambalaya Sports & Entertainment takes workouts out of the box with sports leagues and social events. Participants play a variety of sports including basketball, dodgeball, tennis, and bowling at the facility's indoor courts. Three times a year, the complex also hosts basketball tournaments to raise funds for its Midnight Basketball program for high-risk youth.