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Fitness can be fun

Submitted by Valerie Ginsburg on August 16, 2011 – 5:11 pmNo Comment

College students face tight schedules full of classes, studying, extra-curricular activities, internships, work and socializing, so staying in shape is not always a top priority. Finding fun new ways to work out is one way to stay on track.

It was once trendy to use canned vegetables as weights and a chair as an aid to work out in your living room. Then power-walking in Lycra shorts became the way to stay in shape complete with hollering a loud “left” when passing someone who is walking slower. There’s FitTV, countless video workouts and new products pop up every day promising to help you tone up.

In 2006 the Nintendo Wii became a way to get video gamers off the sofa, with the introduction of Wii Fit and later, EA Active. People are rediscovering the Hoola-Hoop and some sneakers are now made with a rounded bottom that is supposed to lift your buttocks just by wearing them in normal everyday walking.

The American Council on Exercise sponsored a research project at the University of  Wisconsin, where graduate student Karel Schmidt determined that playing Wii Sports does not burn as many calories as playing the actual game. However, the competitiveness can be motivating to people who might not otherwise work out.  The UALR fitness center can help set up Wii tournaments for students that have the machine and want to compete with each other.

Coordinator of Campus Recreation Naomi Fletcher is looking into adding “hooping” to the schedule next year. “It’s a lot of fun but it’s not the Hoola-hoop of youth because when you’re a kid you stop after five minutes or so. With a hooping class it’s continuous for 30 minutes…the issue right now is spacing.”

The UALR fitness center will also be offering a number of fun classes for students and faculty this semester. Belly dancing, Zumba Gold and Urban Flirt classes will get you “shaking your booty and moving your shoulders around a lot” according to Fletcher.

For a bit more intensity in your fun workout the fitness center is offering Piloxing, Kettlebell and Intensity. For more information about the classes, visit or call 569-3228.

Some students have also found ways to new ways to beat the summer heat and still burn a few calories.

“This summer has been so absurdly hot that I have had to tweak my routines,” said senior English major Abby Baldwin. “I’m obsessed with the show Criminal Minds…while the show is on I run, in place, in my apartment living room, looking rather silly. When a commercial comes on I do lunges back and forth from the living room to the kitchen, still looking rather silly!  I keep this up until the show is over, and I usually do it twice a day.”


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