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Penn State Fitness Classes Through The Eyes Of A Beginner

Fitness and I have been in an on and off relationship for about 10 years now. I’ll get health kicks every so often, but they never last long especially as a college student. My busy schedule tends to get in the way. This year, I decided to try a different approach and get excited about exercise.


I’ve gone to the gym at Penn State before, but only ever ventured as far as the elliptical and treadmill with some occasional abs-workouts on the mats. Fitness classes seemed like a fun way to stay on track, but I was always scared to go alone.


I made a GroupMe with a bunch of my friends and we decided to go to power remix together. Power remix is essentially 45 minutes of dancing to new, popular songs. It incorporates a lot of squats and arm workouts and you’ll definitely work up a sweat, but you almost don’t mind it with how much fun you’re having. I’m such a proponent for power remix and can’t help but do the routines when the songs come on at parties. It probably makes me look like a total loser, but that’s just how much I’ve come to love power remix.


After going a bunch of times, I decided to switch it up and go to zumba. Zumba is a lower intensity than power remix, but has roots in Latin dance, which adds a cool, different aspect. I still leave every class feeling sweaty and accomplished and in a better mood than when I arrive. I would recommend starting out with zumba if you’ve never gone to any classes before.


I went back and forth between those two cardio combinations for a while before starting yoga classes.


I’ve dabbled in yoga, if doing YouTube videos in my basement counts. Regardless, it gave me an idea of the basics for going to a Vinyasa yoga class. It definitely wasn’t easy and I definitely was one of the shakiest in the class, but it all felt worth it when we got to lie down in corpse pose at the end and relax. The best part about leaving yoga is that your body and mind feel great. There are a bunch of different yoga classes offered at the White Building including Hatha, Fitness Yoga, and Yogalates. I hope to try all of them.


This whole semester, I’d been starting off with what I’d deemed to be easier classes and hoped to “work my way up” to classes such as butts and guts, full body workout, or washboard abs.


Then the usual started to happen. I got swamped with rehearsals, classes, meetings, and stopped going as often. I’d thought about starting the whole thing over when my friend asked me to go to butts and guts with her one day. I decided to just suck it up and go.


I walked into the class weary and nervous, but started doing what the instructor was telling us in the midst of my worry. It helped that two of my friends were there with me. We pretty much did a combination of squats, lunges, and planks for forty minutes. I can’t say that I flawlessly did all of the moves, but that’s not the point. I laughed it off if I had to stop for a minute, but pushed myself when I knew I could get through it. I’d say I was able to do about 70 percent of the workout, but for my first time I was proud. I felt really sore the next day, and knew I had earned it.


Coming off of my butts and guts high, I decided to take on a 10 a.m. full body workout class. It sounded like a good idea until about 9:30 a.m. that morning. My friends and I held each other accountable and headed to the class. It started out with some arm-engaged cardio for 30 minutes, and followed with 30 minutes of muscle training. By the end of cardio, I was exhausted, and my hands were way too sweaty to hold myself in a plank. My friends and I all powered through it though and did the best we could. It was a great workout and I started my day with a boost of empowerment.


There are still a lot of classes left to take advantage of, and still a lot of classes that I’m scared of, but I’ve learned that fitness really can be fun if you just face your fears and do it with your friends.

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