fitness class frenzy
Upon beginning Law School I knew I would need something extra to keep me working out regularly. So when I found that UNL offered a group fitness class pass I immediately snatched it up and made the class schedule part of my every-day routine. I go to four classes a week in the evening as part of my exercise regiment. Occasionally I will go to a morning class or a class on Friday as well for an additional workout.
I love having a set schedule and having paid for the fitness pass and having a workout buddy who expects me to show up every evening really helps me meet my goals and get up and moving.
My Monday evening class is Cardio Dance. It is fast becoming one of my favorite workouts as you essentially have a dance party every Monday evening. Once you figure out the moves and get into the swing of it you really have a great time for an hour just dancing to some popular songs and really working up a sweat. This is a medium impact class, but you can tailor it to be easier or harder depending on your fitness level or goals. Some Mondays I come out of class dripping and others I’m just a little red in the face, depending on how I feel and how hard I work.
The benefits of this class are numerous. My balance has improved (slowly, but I’m sure I’ll get the hopping on one leg thing down better eventually), I’ve noticed my legs have become stronger and leaner, and my endurance is slowly building up.
Even if you can’t dance, and dancing really is not a strong suit of mine, anyone can do this class. When I first started doing the class someone mentioned that if you don’t know what the move is, just jog or bounce in place, and that really works. Even if you don’t know exactly what to do you still get your legs moving and your heart rate up. Eventually the moves will come to you and now I can’t hear a song on the radio that we do in class without mentally thinking of the dance that goes along with it.
I would highly recommend anyone trying out a cardio dance class, I think it is a great stepping stone to Zumba as well as a great way to increase your fitness level in a fun and causal environment.
Part of every exercise regiment should include yoga I believe. Especially in a world where you constantly sit and hunch over, yoga really helps relieve stress and stretch out everything that needs to be stretched. As well as increasing balance, I’ve noticed my strength has improved. I can now downward dog way better than on my first attempt at the beginning of the year.
Yoga can also be tailored to everyone’s skill set, it doesn’t have to be impossible, just do what you feel comfortable with. But remembering that you must keep pushing yourself to continue to improve.
Relaxation and breathing is also a key part of yoga. It gives you a chance to step away from your day and just breathe and recharge. This class helps me go back to my studies recharged and ready to learn again and is beginning to be one of my favorites that I look forward to every week.
Here’s an article that mentions some of the awesome benefits of yoga.
Cycling class is also one that I look forward to every week, every week is a new opportunity to see how far I can push myself. Cycling has always been something that I’ve been tentative about pushing myself further in because I have knee problems, but once I was shown how to adjust the seat and handles correctly it no longer hurts my knees at all!
It is easy to set personal goals and push yourself in these classes, but it is also easy to just spin along and not push yourself. So the key in these classes are to keep on top of everything and push yourself as hard as you can.
Make sure your resistance is high enough and that it never is too easy, the feeling of coming out of a class utterly exhausted is excellent and this is my favorite class to release all that inner stress.
This is a beat based workout, and I’ve found that spinning along to the beat makes the hour class go much faster.
I like to keep track of my miles in each class and it is fun to see how much progress I am making and to see how much harder I have to push myself so I can begin to see results.
Usually my final class of the week, HIIT (high intensity interval training) Strength brings together all the workouts and culminates the week with a high intensity full body workout.
This class combines cardio and strength and targets every part of the body and leaves you exhausted and stronger. I think out of all the classes this one is the most beneficial and enables you to make more progress in the other classes.
Although this isn’t my favorite class content wise, the workouts we do in this class are always interesting and challenging. It is also harder to skimp in this class and not work as hard since everyone is doing the same thing. There are modifications, but I try not to use them unless I’m absolutely exhausted.
Overall, all the fitness classes I’ve tried thus far have helped me keep on top of my fitness even though I rarely have time set aside to go for a jog anymore, I still am in decent shape since I have my fitness classes scheduled into my everyday life.
- Stick with it- pick classes you want to go to every week and make yourself go EVERY SINGLE WEEK unless you have a necessary commitment.
- Give it your all- if you aren’t focused and trying your hardest, you are wasting your time. You took time out of your day, make it worth while.
- Hydrate and eat well- don’t let your hard work go to waste!
My schedule: Monday- 5:30 cardio dance, Tuesday- 5:30 yoga, Wednesday- 6:30 spinning, Thursday- 6:30 HIIT Strength.