Classes for your mind and body

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Pumping Iron at the gym

Jonas Hrebeniuk

NO PAIN, NO GAIN. Getting into the gym and getting some exercise is part of a healthy, well-rounded university experience. No one enjoys first starting to work out, but you'll thank yourself later.

Let’s get physical.

With the stress of university life, no home cooked meals and a new beer belly, it is crucial that students stay active. Campus Recreation in the University Community Centre has impressive and inexpensive facilities to help you stay healthy throughout the year.

Foreplay. It’s important to stretch and warm your muscles up before getting active. The free Campus Recreation program in the UCC offers a yoga stretch class and a pilates class that will increase your flexibility and get you warmed up. These classes are about an hour long, so if you’re not interested in a lengthy stretch, the free cardio room has mats and floor space for stretching on your own.

Break a sweat. For a class that really gets your heart beating, try cardio kickboxing in the UCC’s gym. You enter at the campus recreation desk and can leave your belongings in their locker facilities and head upstairs. The class begins with a brief warm-up and progresses into a cardio workout complete with kicking, punching, abdominal work and lots of movement. If nothing else, this hour-long class is a great way to beat the stress of exams and learn some self-defence moves.

An equally fun class is cardio ball. This class combines the cardio moves of a standard aerobics class but adds the weight of a large exercise ball. The class ends with ab and leg work while sitting on the ball. This is a short 20-minute class " a good fit for a busy schedule.

If you’re looking to join a gym rather than do the various classes or wait in line for machines at campus rec, Western’s Cardio Annex is also an option. For $20 per month, you can enjoy quality machines such as bikes, treadmills, ellipticals and weights.

Up the intensity. A cycle class offers a more intense cardio workout. This 90-minute class is a cycling excursion complete with fast pedalling and uphill climbs. All participants leave with wet shirts, legs that feel like jelly and a new appreciation for Lance Armstrong.

For a shorter class, try rock bottom. The name isn’t lying; if you did this workout every day you would definitely get a rock-hard bottom. The 20-minute class combines leg squats with resistance band exercises that leave you weak at the knees.

Be safe. Remember to work out at your own pace " pushing yourself too hard can create injury. Bring lots of water and a towel to keep cool and make sure you understand the proper way to do an exercise to avoid getting hurt.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette