Stay fit and healthy with exercise, sports and TM at MIU

Enhance your study with our amazing range of recreation options: 

We are frequently asked if we have sports and recreation facilities. The answer is a resounding “yes!” In fact, our campus is home to one of the largest indoor university sports/recreation facilities in the state of Iowa: the Grace Ananda Recreation Center.

“Our 60,000 square-foot Recreation Center includes four tennis courts, eight pickleball courts, two badminton courts, two spots for table tennis, two basketball courts, a volleyball court, an area for indoor soccer, a weight room, a dance room, a 35-foot rock-climbing wall, cardio equipment, and a walking track,” said Dustin Matthews, Director of the Exercise and Sport Science department.

“We also have a variety of fitness classes offered by local professionals including tennis lessons, archery lessons, workout classes, dance and aerobics classes, and more. Students can utilize the facility for free year-round to help supplement a healthy daily routine.” (Please note: some activities and equipment are temporarily unavailable due to COVID restrictions.)

Grace Ananda Recreation Center (with trainer Amie Saine)


Recreation Center exercise equipment


Comments from students

“The MIU rec center is a wonderful place to be,” said Ukrainian ComPro graduate Julia Rohozhnikova. “During my first day, I explored campus and found the recreation center. I fell in love with this place. Throughout my MIU stay (9 months) I would come to the center 5-7 times a week to take group fitness classes, workout in the weights room, or play tennis.

“Every time I left the rec center for the day, I felt motivated to do more! Being active while studying helped me focus more, be in good health, and make smart and bold decisions.”

ComPro student Raja Raza (from Pakistan) appreciates being able to balance his studies with regular exercise, and has been participating in a variety of activities in the Recreation Center:

“I play a lot and enjoy a lot there,” said Raja. “I play soccer with my friends, and am learning to play tennis. I’m very impressed with the sports facilities and equipment!”

Outdoor equipment and facilities

The Exercise and Sport Science department offers a variety of recreational equipment to students at no cost, including bicycles, volleyball equipment, racquets, balls, kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, sail boats and windsurfing gear. During winter months students can borrow skis, sleds, ice skates and more.


Volleyball is an international favorite


Our outdoor swimming pool is especially popular for cooling off, sunbathing, and socializing during warm weather.

Campus pool


The outdoor Punj Tennis Center is a campus landmark where students learn to play tennis, enjoy friendly competition and watch local tournaments.

The soccer field (football pitch) is located near the men’s residence halls and is popular for pickup matches and friendly competitions between students from different countries or different dormitory buildings.


Bonnefield Lake at Waterworks Park

Bonnefield Lake at Waterworks Park is within walking distance of campus and is an ideal spot for picnics, barbecues, swimming, playing on the sand beach or walking around the lake. This is where the Computer Science department holds the annual summer picnic for students, graduates, faculty, staff and families on the day after graduation.


Computer Science department picnic at Waterworks Park


Ask any outdoor enthusiast what they love about living here, and they’re likely to tell you about the 16-mile Fairfield Loop Trail. This scenic trail winds around lakes, through meadows, woodlands, native prairies and parks.

“The trails at Waterworks Park provide one of the best places I’ve seen in Fairfield for a walk. You get to meet local people and network with them,” said Ethiopian ComPro student Abyalew Ambaneh. “I like to go for early morning runs around the lake when the weather is fine. The park is a great place to study and have quiet time while enjoying the nice views.”

Taking a walk on/near campus

Fairfield Loop Trail is adjacent to the campus. Photo by Werner Elmker


Central campus offers a scenic walkway for year-round exercise


ComPro students happy being at MIU

“MIU offers a rich range of year-round possibilities to be physically active,” said Ken Daley, Professor Emeritus of the Exercise and Sport Science department. “Over the years we have focused on providing quality recreation and fitness opportunities rather than a concentration on competitive sports. This assures that all students have a first class experience no matter what their background or physical abilities are.”

Transcendental Meditation uniquely improves student health and well-being

Additional benefits for MIU students come from regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Numerous published studies show that TM, practiced by all students, faculty and staff at MIU, naturally develops improved health, better academic performance, and increased happiness.