I used to really hate working out. I would get out of breath just by running a little and was not into many sports despite trying soccer and swimming. The only real workout I liked doing was dancing. Once I came to college, I was no longer regularly doing dance, so I had to find another way to keep moving: especially with the long winters. I first took a spin class my freshman year and instantly loved cycling to the beat of my music. I found myself signing up for more of the classes. Now, I’ve worn off from primarily just doing cardio but doing cardio and regularly lifting. I still take workout classes and would definitely recommend them to anyone and more specifically anyone who doesn’t workout regularly but wants to get started with it.
Here are some recommendations to get you started:
So far this semester, my friends and I have taken a Pilates class every Wednesday for the past few Wednesdays, and I absolutely love it. Pilates gives you a full-body workout incorporating legs, glutes, arms, core, and cardio. I always feel so refreshed after taking these classes and feel like I am really working towards focusing on self-care. These classes do require some balancing but they are not too difficult. This is a great guided class since the instructor demonstrates the workouts beforehand in each section. Seeing everyone work out around you is really motivating and one of the main things I love about group fitness classes.
2. Yin Yoga
I often have a hard time relaxing. My body often goes into stress mode or I feel highly anxious. However, I don’t have the flexibility needed in a regular yoga class and this is a great alternative for relaxation. I’ve only taken this class once but have been meaning to sign up for it again because I felt so refreshed and mentally better after taking this class. In this class, you hold a different yoga pose for two to five minutes and it helps with flexibility and mobility. I highly recommend this class for anyone who is feeling very stressed and needs to meditate and really focus on their breath. The dim lighting and calming music also contribute to what helps lighten and relax the body.
3. Spin (especially the themed ones)
Right off the bat, I can tell you that these classes are especially intense. I recommend first trying the express spin if you are a beginner. This high-intensity workout will have you sweating within the first fifteen minutes. I really enjoy taking these classes at night because the lights are off and there are disco lights and the energy always gets me hyped up. Some of my favorite themed classes I’ve taken are a Christmas-themed class and a Disney movie music-themed class. I also leave this class feeling empowered and ready to take on what is to come.
If you are looking to sign up for a class, you can sign up on this website. So grab your friends, and sign up for one of the many group fitness classes offered at the UMass Recreation Center!