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Working Out Despite the Weather

 

            As the weather gets colder, it’s easy to bundle up inside and hide under the covers rather than going on your regular run or taking that trip to the gym.  But just because it’s colder doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about fitness. Actually, it’s probably the best time to remember it- I don’t know about you but I don’t want to feel any guilt when it’s time for Halloween candy or holiday treats. But just because you don’t want to brave the cold doesn’t mean exercise is a lost cause. Check out these fun fitness ideas that don’t involve trekking through snow in your giant NorthFace- because we all get enough of that already.

 

FitGirl Barre classes

            FitGirl, located at 1642 Maple Avenue, is your one stop shop for fitness needs. With a broad range of classes- barre, cardio barre, spin, and yoga- it’s easy to find a fun workout that gives you a little more satisfaction than just hitting up the treadmill or elliptical. It’s barre classes, which combine cardio, dance-inspired movements, and strength training, leave your whole body feeling refreshed, and also extremely sore, trust me. The classes range from 45 minutes to an hour and the sign-up works on a class to class basis- $20 for a class as well as special deals like  $90 for five classes, $160 for ten, or $425 for three months of unlimited classes. They also offer a 20% discount for students as well as special deals for groups, such as sororities. So stop by FitGirl for a unique full body workout that will make you feel great and keep you interesting and having fun.

            My recommendation? If you’re going to try a FitGirl class, I definitely suggest the regular 60-minute barre class. My sorority tried this class out together and we all loved it- well, after we struggled through the surprisingly difficult weight-lifting portions. But what was tough in the workout was definitely worth it in the end and left us all feeling like we’d done a great workout that we wanted to try again.

 

Spinning

            While I’ve always been a strictly running type of girl as far as cardio goes, when I injured my foot this summer, I realized it was time to check out some other options. I like to work out very regularly so after a few days of sitting around, afraid to run again for fear of making it worse, I made my way to the gym and tried out a spinning class, which I’d been intending to try for a while. Spinning is much lower impact than running, which I could immediately feel in my joints, but is just as good of a workout- spinning classes are estimated to burn somewhere between 500 and 700 calories during an hour. I knew all of this going in, but what I didn’t expect was how great of a workout spinning feels like and I’m not going to lie, I definitely looked like I’d had quite a workout when I was done. But what’s the greatest thing about spinning? It’s free! At SPAC, spinning classes are offered multiple times a week free of charge. And if you go to another gym- like LA Fitness or EAC- they’re most likely offered free as well with your membership.

            So if you’re looking for a tough cardio workout with a lot of variety that will also blast your calories, try out a spinning class and you might have found your perfect winter workout.

 

Hog Yoga

            While it’s not exactly the tough cardio of spinning, hot yoga has grown extremely popular recently and seems to be a workout trend that’s sticking around. If you’re looking for a hot yoga studio in Evanston, try DownDogHotYoga at 1508 Sherman Avenue or Bikram Yoga at 1840 Oak Avenue. Both offer a variety of hot yoga classes, ranging from an hour to an hour and a half, and one class is only $15-$18 dollars. Bikram, which offers the most intense hot yoga sessions that I’ve seen, has classes lasting 90 minutes in a 105-degree room with 40% humidity. Now if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, I don’t know what workout would.

            In all seriousness, however, hot yoga is a great workout that will stretch your muscles, especially if you do other, more intense workouts frequently, such as weight training or heavy cardio. Hot yoga is meant to stretch and strengthen the body so, even if you’re an intense athlete, don’t think of yoga as a waste or an extra, unnecessary training tool. It’s great for you and will help you stretch and build healthier muscles for the future.

Northwestern sophomore; journalism & history major
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