With the long hours students spend sitting at a desk preparing for tests or writing papers, staying physically active during college can be a challenge. Finding the time to exercise, especially when already exhausted from studies, is a crucial part of living a healthy lifestyle that students often tend to neglect.
Even if we can find the time to get a workout in, knowing what type of exercise to do or how to execute the form properly can be a challenge of its own.
“I like to be told what exercises to do, because sometimes I go to the gym and find myself not knowing what to do next,” Estefania Vargas, graduate student in curriculum and instruction, said. “When I go to group fitness classes, I forget I’m working out.”
Recreational Services offer a full schedule of group fitness classes, funded by the campus privilege fee, ranging from mind and body classes such as yoga to cardio classes like Zumba or cycling.
The remodel of the Chester E. Peters Recreation Complex included four new group fitness studios complete with mirrors, high-quality sound systems and a variety of exercise equipment.
New group fitness instructors spend a whole semester shadowing veteran instructors so they have time to perfect their skills before teaching their own classes. This lengthy training ensures that new instructors learn to provide safe, fun and effective group fitness classes.
“When selecting group fitness instructors, I look for individuals that are full of energy, are reliable and have a great passion,” Megan Clark, assistant director of Rec Services, said.
“I love leading people in a workout that makes them feel good, which also makes me feel good,”Alana Pfeifer, senior in theater and group fitness instructor, said.
In her class, Pfeifer leads all levels of participants through intervals of cycling sprints which focus on the body’s core. Her students are guaranteed to work up a sweat.
“Group fitness classes are a good way to motivate yourself,” Brittany Gleason, sophomore in accounting, said. “Plus, having classes available each evening forces you to not make excuses to skip your workout.”
For those who enjoy a more relaxed workout environment, yoga classes are a great way to build strength and flexibility.
“Yoga is a phenomenal way to change up your workout routine, try something new, and reignite the fire of motivation to have a healthy mind, body and soul,” Madeline McMillen, junior in anthropology and group fitness instructor, said.
McMillen said she likes to create an environment for her students that provides a strong challenge to help them grow and improve, while allowing them to feel comfortable within their own limitations.
Working out doesn’t have to mean spending long hours on the elliptical. The ever-changing workouts from skilled instructors and team camaraderie makes group fitness classes a great way to distress after a long day of studies.
“Group fitness gives you a team to help push and motivate you throughout your entire workout,” Kassidy Stecklein, junior in kinesiology and total body instructor, said. “Plus, doing it with friends provides a more fun and less stressful experience.”