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Not your ordinary Pilates instructor, shes much better: Riley McKinstry

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Eckerd chapter.

Do you want to start getting in shape and preparing your body for bathing suit season?? After all, we do live on the beach! Riley McKinstry teaches two classes at the gym here at Eckerd and her classes will kick your butt! Riley, an economics major from Rio Ranch, New Mexico, hopes to go into physical therapy. She love economics, it just comes naturally to her, but she also loves exercise physiology. Exercise physiology is what inspired her to become a personal trainer, so physical therapy would be the next step! Since New Mexico is so far away from Florida, I asked her why she decided to come to Eckerd College and she said that Eckerd wasn’t even on her list of colleges to begin with! She had a friend tell her about it and she just went for it and committed without even visiting, which was weird for her! Riley is part of the Honors program, but most of her free time is spent planning for her classes: making playlists and timers, as well as choosing a goal for each class. Clearly, Riley is a very active member of the Eckerd community, especially since she is just a freshman!

Riley has been doing Pilates since she was in middle school! Her mom has a trick knee that she strengthens with Pilates, so she has always been around it. She loves the body awareness it teaches! Surprisingly, Riley is pretty new to teaching, she started a little less than a year ago. She actually enjoys teaching her other fitness classes more than Pilates now because there is so much she can do with them, like Tabata Tuesdays! Her favorite part, though, is definitely getting to meet the awesome people that enjoy exercise as much as she does and sharing the hour classes with them. She says that she likes to make her classes as fun as possible! I asked her what advice she could give to people who are contemplating on starting to work out and she said that you just need to dive right in! Fitness classes like hers as well as spinning and yoga, etc. are an awesome way to start working out because it’s really helpful to start in a productive and supportive environment. The gym can be kind of daunting by yourself, so exercising with friends is always her way to go! She said that exercise is so important. It plays a major role in not only your physical health, but your mental health too. It releases endorphins and can actually make you feel more energized after! It’s a huge stress reliever, so making time for it is definitely in your best interest!! I have learned from personal experience that Riley’s classes can be pretty difficult but you always feel so accomplished and healthy after doing them!

Being a fitness trainer, teaching classes, and being in the honors program here at Eckerd must be pretty overwhelming, but Riley says that it’s not hard to balance working out with her social/academic life. She has always valued her health first. She says that it’s all a huge game of dominos; when she’s healthy she does better in her classes, and when she does better in her classes she feel more free to be social. It takes some planning, but ultimately, it’s worth it! Speaking of her social life, over spring break Riley spent time with her mom. Her mom flew to Tampa and they drove to Clearwater together and stayed by the beach. She said it was really nice! I asked her what she is most looking forward to for Springtopia and she said that it’s too hard to choose! She’s really excited about the whole thing! She thinks the energy on campus is going to liven and it should be awesome! Riley is an amazing fitness and pilates instructor and I would definitely recommend going to her classes! To find out when her classes are visit http://www.eckerd.edu/campusactivities/fitnessschedule/index.php !!