Work It Out

ImageEveryone knows the health benefits of exercise from lowering blood pressure and cholesterol to even reducing the risk of some types of cancers.  For most of us JMU-goers, we were heavily involved in extracurriculars in high school. For me in particular, I was involved in sports, including 2-hour practices for swimming or cross country at least 5 days a week. So, it was hard to find a manageable workout plan when I came to college. I succeeded in routines of running and light weight lifting, however, this grew monotonous. So this semester I tried out fitness classes at UREC –a diverse mix of them.

The experience has taught me that “in shape” means an entirely different thing from  one person to  the next. In different cardio classes, I’ve been taught how to twerk, how to box, and how to cycle. Within their own specialties, all of these instructors are wicked in shape. However, if they had to teach a class outside of their element, they would likely find it difficult. Each class challenges me in different ways—cardio endurance, strength, or coordination. Some classes work muscles that I haven’t used in years. It’s been fun to mix up my routine and challenge my body.

Health professionals say that the habits you form in college will stay  with you throughout your adult life. For this reason, I think it’s important to learn what workouts work for you. For me, this means mixing up different types of cardio and strength training. For others, this may mean hitting the treadmill everyday (an occurrence that would likely make me go insane).  My advice to the average student trying to develop a workout routine?

  • Don’t develop a routine, find workouts that you enjoy.
  • Try all types of UREC group fitness classes– some you’ll hate, some you’ll love.
  • If a workout makes you feel good by the end, it’s served its purpose. No need to compare yourself to treadmill or weight-lifting addicts.
  • Don’t work out every day. Enjoy your life and avoid compulsivity with physical activity.

Find what exercises make you happy, and work it out! 

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