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Health

Five unique workouts to switch up your exercise routine

As we all know, exercising has so many health benefits, but it can also be enjoyable! I find that learning new skills helps me stay motivated to workout, so if you’re bored of doing the same exercises again and again, here are five great workouts to switch things up. 

Pilates

This is my all time favorite workout method! Although there is still a lot of research to be done on the benefits, the premise of Pilates is utilizing slow, controlled movements to improve strength, endurance, and flexibility. It focuses heavily on the core to build stability and posture, but is great for working any part of the body. I also love that Pilates movements include breathing techniques to help participants destress. I’ve tried meditation before and while it’s great for many people, it didn’t feel purposeful to me. On the other hand, Pilates helps me relax but still feel strong and powerful. My favorite online fitness instructor for Pilates is Blogilates. She’s energetic and encouraging in her videos, and this helps keep me motivated, so I’d highly recommend her instructional videos! 

Running

If you promised yourself that you’d never run by choice again after doing the mile every week in high school, you might be reluctant to do this one. That being said, there’s something so therapeutic about running without any pressure to finish with a certain pace or distance. Running is also a great way to explore your surroundings. Find a running buddy and make it a time to reconnect, or run solo to clear your mind. You can’t go wrong either way! However, the unfortunate truth is that running outside can present dangers for women, so make sure you take precautions to stay safe

Barre

Whether you used to be a dancer and miss dancing or you’ve always wanted to try dance, barre is a great way to incorporate graceful movements while also building muscle endurance, balance, and flexibility. There are many exercises that can be done with just a mat and a makeshift barre, such as a chair, making this exercise a great option when you can’t access a gym. My favorite online barre instructor is Fit by Coach Kel. She’s straight to the point but also provides enough direction to ensure that you’re using proper form. 

Jump rope

When I was in sixth grade, my PE teacher told our class that we would be doing a jump rope unit. I was confused because I thought that jump rope was an activity for little kids. Turns out that there are tons of intense workouts and cool tricks that use jump ropes. You can buy a basic, inexpensive jump rope and never get bored with it. Start with learning proper jump rope form, and then move onto more challenging exercises and tricks. If you’re looking for a new, exciting cardio workout, this is a great one to try! 

Take a class

Taking a fitness or recreational class is a great way to hold yourself accountable to work out while trying something new. I took a free, four week aerial silks class through UCSD Recreation and while it was challenging (I joke that my abs were sore for two weeks straight), it was a ton of fun!

Hopefully this list inspired you to try a new workout this week. And don’t forget to have fun!

Emma Chan

UCSD '22

Emma is a fourth year student at UC San Diego. She is majoring in Environmental Systems and minoring in Political Science. After graduation, she hopes to work in conservation biology or science communication. When she's not studying or working, she enjoys hiking, photography, playing piano, and baking.
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