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UMD Fitness Photoblog: Staying in Shape in the Cold

Every year, there comes that time when students gradually become lazier and more exhausted than ever. Suddenly, there are less students waking up at the sound of their alarm, making it to class, and waiting in line for the treadmills at the gym.

Sure, the gym may be clearing out a little bit, which leaves room for the more proactive students to hop on the treadmill, but why not spice up your workout routine a little bit? Attending a few fitness classes on-campus not only adds variety to your workout, but you might even discover that they are a lot more fun than staring outside of a window while on the treadmill.

Classes on campus range from yoga, to step combo, zumba, and boxing bootcamp. From personal experience, I know that zumba has become very popular over the years. According to the University of Maryland Campus Recreation Services website, zumba is a 55-minute class that is a mix of salsa, tango, and samba. It is a Latin-inspired dance class that also involves some hip hop.

Dan Smith, a sophomore intended business major, decided to attend a zumba class with his female friends one day to change it up a little bit from the everyday “manly” workout. “I would recommend zumba to other guys on-campus because it’s a different way to stay in shape and a wonderful excuse to chill and dance with the ladies,” Smith said. “Get over the fact that zumba is considered feminine and give it a try.”

Another fitness class that may be of interest to those who want to focus on relaxation and flexibility is yoga, which is also a 55-minute class. This class can help build strength and endurance. It is a completely different workout than intense cardio, but it is also extremely effective especially if you continue to attend classes each week.

“I love yoga,” said Rachel Swallwood, a sophomore government and politics major. “I started doing it in physical therapy, and I’ve never stopped. Nothing makes my aching back feel better than a good yoga session.” Swallwood says that she sees a great different in her posture after doing yoga and has become more aware of her body as a whole.

I decided to find out a little bit more about fitness classes and speak to a student fitness instructor, a sophomore hearing and speech major, Jessie Goldstein:

Q1: What made you want to become a fitness instructor here at UMD?

A- I know that I get bored easily, so when I started looking for a job I really wanted to find something that was more interesting than sitting at a desk checking IDs. When I heard there was a training class for fitness instructing, I was instantly interested. After all, I wanted to work out, I wanted to make money, and I wanted to not be able to back out of going to the gym! Instructing is so great because it is a fun exercise for me and I get paid as well! Who wouldn’t want to get paid to do something they enjoy?

Q2: What classes do you teach here, and what is your favorite one to teach? Why?

A- I teach Abs and Low Back, GTL (Glutes, Thighs and Lower Body) and Step Combo. I don’t really have a favorite! Abs & Low Back and GTL are really fun because I can interact a lot more with participants, but Step Combo has some more interesting and fun moves!

Q3: Why do you think students at UMD should take fitness classes?

A- I think anyone should take fitness classes because they are great for your body. A lot of times, we get so caught up in other things we neglect our bodies. Fitness classes are a fun, social way to make sure you are keeping your body active, even just for a little bit of time a day. Not only is exercising great for your body, but it is also great for your mind. As college students, I am sure we are all under a bunch of stress, and exercise is one of the best and most beneficial ways to reduce stress. Besides all of that, Group Fitness classes are fun!

Q4: Can you briefly describe each class you teach?

A- Abs and Low Back and GTL are pretty self-explanatory; we just target specific areas in 25-minute workouts. Step Combo is step aerobics, taken up a level. It is essentially a series of choreographed step routine.

Maryland fitness classes are held all week long, with most of them being held in the ERC Aerobics Room. A schedule of the fitness classes can be found here: http://www.crs.umd.edu/cms/Fitness/GroupFitness/GroupFitnessSchedules.aspx This fall and winter, don’t be afraid to try something new! Gather the slightest bit of motivation you have deep down inside of you and head to a fitness class that most interests you.

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