I went into freshman year mildly athletic. I was one of those kids who had been on the varsity soccer team in high school only because we did not have enough players.
The gym made me nervous. I was fit to the extent that I could run for a few minutes if I were being chased by a bear, but would ultimately give up out of sheer exhaustion. In other words, my speed on the treadmill was embarrassingly slow.
My first time in the McComas gym was Hokie Kick Off. Unsurprisingly, I only went for the free T-shirt. Always go to events in college if they are offering free items. Even if you didn’t enjoy the event or make any new friends, at least you got some free stuff.
At my freshman kick off, there was a free Zumba class. My roommate and I went in as a joke. The joke was on us because we both fell in love with it.
The instructors filled the room with energy and joy that I had never experienced at the gym before.
For the first time, exercising was truly fun for me. I was also sore for the next several days, so I knew it was an effective workout.
I’m admittedly not good at working out on my own. Group Exercise gave me a way to get a great workout and choose from a plethora of formats.
Free week happens the first week of school. The schedule will be available close to that time. This gives students a chance to try all of the classes for free to see if you would be interested in buying a Group Exercise pass.
From my three years of exercising mostly through Group Exercise, I can recommend a few of my favorites.
Club Zumba and Zumba
Club Zumba and Zumba will always be my first loves. I started with no dance experience. It took me several classes to get the hang of moving my hips in the right direction.
Though my dancing was nothing to brag about, I kept going back because I loved the people teaching and it was so rewarding to get better at the choreography each class.
Club Zumba is different from Zumba in that the music is not limited to a Latin mix. There is hip hop, pop, Afro and whatever else the instructor chooses.
BODYCOMBAT is an awesome way to unleash pent up anger. My entire back was sore for three days after one class. It’s even better if you imagine punching and kicking an actual person. There is no equipment, and it can amaze you how strong you’ll feel.
BODYATTACK is like the pinnacle of cardio classes. Your entire body will feel this. There will be jump squats and shuffling to last a lifetime. It is high energy the whole time, and the enthusiasm is addicting.
Boot Camp is a class where it is different every time. The workout depends on the instructor’s current preference. If it’s a nice day, the instructor might have you go outside. There might be rotating stations set up in the studio. It’s a surprise for your body every time.
Deep Water Fitness
Deep Water Fitness is a party in the water. There is no sweating because you are in the pool, but it is a legitimate full body workout. An added bonus is that you get to use pool floaties.
Regular exercise is an important part of staying somewhat sane through your college career. Conquer any fear you might have of going to the gym alone.
I missed half a semester of Group Exercise classes because I thought I would feel stupid dancing alone. My roommate didn’t want to go anymore and I was nervous to go without her.
In reality, sometimes it is more fun alone. You can also make friends at the gym. Endorphins must make people more friendly, because I met some of my best college friends waiting in line for Zumba.
I also recommend approaching the instructor. It makes their day hearing their class means something to you. They teach their format because they believe in it and love it.
College is a time to get an education of course, but also to network like crazy. Make all the friends you can and develop a healthy lifestyle while doing that.
I recommend trying every exercise class at least twice. Once to get a feel for it, and a second time to have a real opinion of whether you like it. Don’t be afraid to feel awkward.