While it’s undeniably the middle of winter right now and all anyone wants to do (myself included) is curl up on their futon, cover up with a blanket and binge-watch Netflix, I’m still trying to stay in shape. Now that I’ve lost most of you after that first sentence, let’s talk about working out during the winter. I’m not really one to go for the “beach body.” I try to stick with working out year-round because it’s a lot easier and effective to start something and keep doing it instead of falling in and out. Fortunately, if you’re looking for consistency, UConn offers several fitness classes a day through its BodyWise program. Whether you’re looking to get in shape but don’t know where to start or just want to vary your workouts, I’ve included a guide to my favorite BodyWise classes.
There are a lot of misconceptions about Pilates. It’s not yoga, and it’s not just ab workouts. At pilates, there is a focus on working out your core, which includes your back, abs and obliques (side-abs) using your own body weight. But you won’t just be doing crunches and planks the whole time. Pilates also works out your glutes, legs and sometimes your arms. It’s a great way to tone your whole body. Also, a good portion of the workout takes place on the floor, so if, like me, you’re lazy, you will be relieved to know you won’t sweat much and there is zero cardio involved. Plus, because you don’t need any equipment, Pilates is easy to do on your own once you get the hang of it.
Zumba is such a blast you will forget you’re working out. You’ll be too busy checking yourself out in the mirror as you shake your butt to Beyonce. Zumba is dance-based cardio set to pop, hip-hop and Latin music. You will sweat and be out of breath, but you’ll have fun doing it. The workout is fairly repetitive throughout each song, so if you don’t pick it up at first, you’ll get it after a few times. Most of the classes I’ve gone to have put an emphasis on squats, so if you’re going for the bubble butt, Zumba is for you.
Hear me out, I hated spin class the first time I went. I couldn’t breathe and my legs felt like they were going to pop off as if I were a Barbie doll. I swore I would never go back. A friend convinced me to try it again a few months later and I actually came to love it. In spin class, you ride on a stationary bike, adding and taking off resistance as well as switching positions between sitting and standing during the ride. This is one of the more intense BodyWise classes offered. You really need to challenge yourself, otherwise you won’t be getting a workout. If you’re doing it right, your legs will burn and you may or may not feel like passing out occasionally. The best part about spin is its intensity. You won’t be focusing on your exams or drama with your friends, because you will be so deep in the workout, pushing yourself both mentally and physically.
Everyone should try yoga at least once in their lives. It’s an incredible stress reliever. You’ll stretch out your muscles and become a lot more aware of your body position. Between sitting in lecture halls and at desks and sleeping on those awful dorm mattresses, our bodies take a beating every day. Yoga is a great way to stretch out your back, legs, neck, arms, and anywhere else you feel tense. Since going to yoga, I’ve personally found I’m a lot more aware of holding tension in my neck and shoulders and make a conscious effort to try to correct it. Yoga focuses on awareness of your body and how it is all connected.
These are just a few of the several classes BodyWise offers. There really is a class for everyone, no matter how you’re trying to work out. It’s a great way to learn about how different exercises work your body and you never need any experience or knowledge to sign up.
Editor’s Note: To take these free BodyWise classes, you can find the schedule on recreation.uconn.edu and sign up via RecRegistration.
Schae Beaudoin is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.