Fitness

5 Best Exercise Classes to take at SU

It’s registration season again! That means you’re probably prepared for the Hunger Games-esque scene that usually occurs during these few weeks. While this scene is usually caused because the classes you need to get into close within the first couple of hours, you don’t have to worry about that when it comes to workout classes. Typically, there are a few of the same courses offered at different times throughout the week, which makes picking them relatively simple. It’s important to have a scheduled time of day to workout that holds you accountable for showing up. If you’re anything like me, that chunk of time on Wednesday morning that you blocked for working out will inevitably turn into you sleeping in or going on a Netflix binge.

Luckily, through these workout classes you don’t have to worry about this anymore! It’s an opportunity to workout with your friends a few times a week, while getting an easy A. Syracuse offers a wide variety of really interesting and cool workout classes, but after taking a quick poll of some students that I know have taken them, the following classes were ranked the highest:

  1. Bootcamp Fitness – This class seeks to really whip you into shape. The class is structured so that you get a large variety of workouts anywhere from interval training to yoga. I really enjoyed bootcamp because we were pushed harder than most classes, and it was a great way to work on everyone’s spring break bods!
  1. Tabata – Tabata is a type of high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) that forces you to push yourself. The class that I took works either through a Tabata app or the teacher leading the sections by personally timing the intervals. These intervals require you to push yourself to the limit for 20 seconds with whatever exercise the teacher chooses, then you get a 10 second break. If you’re thinking, hey that’s not too bad…repeat eight more times. Tabata is supposed to be an amazing fat burner, so I’d suggest taking another interval class for the first half of the semester, and then Tabata for the second. That way, you’ll be in great shape going into Tabata and can get the most out of it.
  1. Pi-yo – This class combines both pilates and yoga. This class is great for strengthening and balance, while also giving you a great workout! A lot of people that I’ve talked to say that it works well for stress relief and that it gives them a nice break in the middle of their day to stretch and meditate.
  1. Zumba Step – This class is fun! While it doesn’t require you to have rhythm, it does require a positive attitude and a desire to dance. The class is a modern version of step aerobics, and mixes high-energy songs with simple moves. This class definitely will keep your heart rate up for 45 minutes, and burns about the same amount of calories as an interval training class.
  1. H.I.I.T – As mentioned, this acronym stands for high intensity interval training. The class is structured a lot like Tabata, but the intervals are different. For H.I.I.T, you would push yourself for 45 seconds and get a 15 second rest. This is a great class because it really allows you to increase or decrease the intensity to suit your body in the best way possible.

All of the teachers I’ve had so far have been great, so I’d suggest finding a class that works well with your schedule to take with some friends! To sign up, just search the name of the class you’re interested in on MySlice, or select ‘PED’ and your availability—this will hone in on your options. When else will you ever be able to earn credit for getting into shape?

By Courtney Rosser

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Feel Great · Fitness

Debunking CrossFit Myths

CrossFit is a word you have probably heard quite frequently. If you are unaware of what this sport is, it is a combination of weightlifting, cardio, gymnastics, pure pain, and 100 percent fun. Now you might be wondering why people would subject themselves to this torture, but staying active for CrossFitters is not only part of their daily routines, it’s something they look forward to and enjoy. The reason for this is because CrossFit is not only a fast-paced, high intensity workout, but each box (the CrossFit term for a gym) is unique. This sport is not just a place where you get sweaty then go home; you form friendships and join a community that supports one another, pushes you to achieve your full potential, and provides people you can rely on whether it be in the box or out of the box. CrossFit not only fosters a community setting, but it comes equipped with its own lingo (WOD, PR, Kipping, Rx, etc.), meal plans (paleo diet), and stylish workout gear (Reebok cross trainers, Reebok spandex, Reebok anything really). It is not only a sport or a gym, it is a lifestyle.

Of course, if you have heard of CrossFit, then you have probably heard how “dangerous it is,” how it is “unhealthy,” and how all CrossFitters are obsessed. Well, the last myth is true, most CrossFitters are obsessed, but for good reason, I promise.

Debunking the myths:

  1. Myth: The coaches are unqualified.

Truth: It’s quite the opposite actually. Yes, it is correct that you only have to attend a two-day seminar where you take a test and they evaluate your skills in order to be a trainer. This seems like it is not enough of a barometer to determine whether a coach is qualified or not, but in fact, it is. It doesn’t quite matter how many certifications you have, but rather, how you put your knowledge into practice. The coaches that care about the sport also care about being qualified for it. These people are not given certifications just by showing up, they are tested and given rules and regulations to follow. This sport does not typically pay its coaches a ton of money, so they are not usually doing it for monetary reasons, rather they do it because they love it.

  1. Myth: The coaches yell at you, and push you too hard.

Truth: The coaches are not yelling at you, they’re encouraging you because they know you are stronger than you believe yourself to be. You only push yourself as hard as you deem appropriate. No reputable coach is going to do anything to make you feel uncomfortable, and everyone in the box is rooting for you. It is such an empowering feeling when you think you are going to fail at a workout, but 20 other people are cheering you on because they believe that you can reach your full potential. Nobody wants to push you ‘til you puke, although that is a common joke among CrossFitters (the mascot for CrossFit is called Pukie the Clown), they just want to ensure you succeed.

  1. Myth: You can get hurt.

Truth: Yes, you absolutely can hurt yourself, but who cares? What I mean by that is you can get hurt sitting on the couch, which can cause extreme back pain. You could get hurt running on the treadmill by twisting your ankle or getting stress fractures. You can get hurt attempting any workout, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. That is why each CrossFit affiliate requires foundation classes for beginners. These classes provide more one-on-one instruction typically, and the coach goes through all the movements you would be attempting in a regular CrossFit class. They ensure that you know what you are doing before you go head-first into a workout.

  1. Myth: It’s too hard.

Truth: Any workout is as hard as you make it, and CrossFit is no exception. If you cannot do the workout Rx (as prescribed), then you can always scale it! You are not shamed for doing some of the movements a little differently because it takes time to learn how to do pull ups, toes to bar, hand stand push-ups, and many other movements. The workouts and the people may seem daunting at first, but everyone is fully supportive. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, and no one is penalized for tailoring the work out to fit their abilities. There are always going to be competitors, but you do not have to be a professional CrossFitter to benefit from the sport. This is applicable even at a regular gym. If you see someone running faster and putting in more mileage than you, you are not going to speed up to keep up with them if you know your body cannot handle it. Instead, you naturally progress and run a little more and a little better each time until you can finally keep up with the nut on the treadmill next to you. It takes time to do a workout Rx, so don’t be deterred from trying the sport because it appears to be “too hard” or “too scary.” Everyone scales at one time or another, and it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is about getting the best and safest workout in as possible!

 

Still not sold? That’s alright, because it isn’t for everyone. Although you can scale the workouts, it does not mean it is going to appeal to everyone, and that is perfectly a-okay. Some people call CrossFit a cult, and even I, an avid CrossFitter, have made that joke time and time again. However, I have seen some people accomplish amazing feats because of this sport, and it is absolutely worth a try!

 

By Rachel Cathie

Feel Great

YouTube: Everyone’s New Favorite Gym

Have you ever wanted to workout but you didn’t think you had time to go to the gym? Or maybe the weather was so bad you didn’t want to risk your life to spend a few minutes on the treadmill? Here’s the perfect solution for a busy college student’s schedule, especially during the winter months.

My favorite way to exercise without leaving my room is by watching fitness videos on YouTube. They are quick, easy, and are the perfect way to fit a brief workout into the day. Some channels include Blogilates, BeFiT, Sarah Fit, and FitnessBlender. The workouts are short and there’s plenty of options to choose from to suit your needs and goals. Here are five reasons why you should try watching fitness videos on YouTube:

  1. Motivational and Fun

Cassey Ho, the host of Blogilates, is peppy and cheers you on throughout the entire video. She’s like your own personal trainer, but through a computer screen. She also makes workouts fun by creating song challenges, dance workouts, and movie themed workouts to push you to keep going.

  1. Variety

Another great thing about YouTube fitness is the diversity of workouts. It’s nice being able to pick what part of the body you would like to workout. In addition to the variety of workouts there are also different time ranges. Some videos are only three minutes long; others are nearly a half hour. This means you can always find a video to fit into your schedule. The last thing is that there is a mixture of workout difficulties. Blogilates features beginner videos all the way up through advanced workouts so there is a level for everyone.

  1. Seasonal and Special Occasion Workouts

There’s also workouts for specific seasons and occasions. For example, in the spring and summer Blogilates has a swimsuit slimdown series to help tone the parts of the body that we often worry about in the summer. She also has a cocktail dress series for when you need to get fit for a party. Even if you don’t want to do a video everyday, there’s a video for when it is important for you.

  1. Food Hacks

We all know that fitness isn’t just about exercising; diet plays an important role as well. On YouTube you can find all sorts of recipe videos, diet how-to’s, and tutorials. Many of the recipes are easy and give you healthy versions of your favorite foods like cake, macaroni and cheese, and ice cream.

  1. Helpful Components

Many fitness gurus on YouTube have lives outside of YouTube. This means you can find them on Instagram, Twitter, and even on their own personal websites for up-to-date fitness information all the time. After Blogilates videos began gaining more views, Cassey began an online site to post additional information. The site includes a workout calendar, meal plans, recipes, and an online shop. All this information is free; the only requirement is that you need to subscribe to her newsletter every month.

Fitness channels like Blogilates are the perfect mix of working out and learning about a healthy lifestyle. These videos can motivate you to follow your fitness goals without going crazy, works around your schedule, and can be done from the comfort of your own home. As the days get shorter and colder I recommend giving these videos a try!

By Lina Sullivan

Feel Great

Everyday is Leg Day at ‘Cuse

Whether you live on Mount Olympus, west campus, south campus or near Marshall street, chances are you will encounter a hill during your commute to and from campus. This could be a bad thing if you want to wear heels or walk to class without turning into a sweaty mess, but this is also a good thing. As it turns out, walking up and down these hills can be one of the best things you do for your body. We all know the benefits of walking, but think of how toned your legs and glutes will be after a semester spent traversing the dome steps.

It’s good for your heart
Regular walking has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.

Keeps your weight in check

Strolling at 2 miles per hour can burn 75 calories in just 30 minutes. If you pick up the pace to 3 miles per hour, you’ll burn over 100 calories in 30 minutes.  Walking also increases your muscle tone, which means the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism works. This means you’ll burn more calories even while resting.

Tones your legs, bum, and tum

When your legs are burning after hiking up one of the many staircases here on campus, think of all the great things happening inside your body. Keep your posture in check and your core tight to start seeing positive tummy results.

More energy

As we approach fall and winter, be sure to embrace those chilly mornings. One of the best natural energizers is brisk air in your face; it wakes up every cell in your body and gets the oxygen flow going.

It makes you happy

Exercise is proven to boost your mood and relieve stress and anxiety. Walking with buddies is a great way to keep your walks interesting and to enjoy the company of others.

The next time you find yourself complaining about the long walk, remember all the wonderful benefits your body is receiving. Thank you ‘Cuse for the wonderful workout, everyday.

Now go enjoy the sun while supplies last!

By Sydney Hughes

Feel Great

Multitask Your Way to Fitness

We’ve all seen those people at the gym who crack open a textbook or have their eyes glued to Gray’s Anatomy while on the treadmill—I have even found myself watching Bravo for the entirety of my elliptical session!

After the elliptical timer had finally run out and I was able to fixate my eyes off of Botched, I realized how fast my workout had flown by; it was almost as if Bravo had sped up my workout.

Because watching TV had accelerated my workout so much, I wondered if I had cheated the system. Does multitasking while exercising really have an impact on the workout? I asked myself. And, is the girl next to me studying with her index cards truly breaking a sweat and getting the most out of her workout?

Thankfully, studies have shown that doing easy, cognitive tasks while working out can have a positive effect on your sweat session.

The University of Florida conducted a study in which 20 older, healthy adults completed cognitive tasks while riding on a stationary bike. The objective was to investigate the decrements in cycling when performing cognitive tasks with a range of difficulty.

The study showed that the participants’ cycling speed actually increased while on the bike, while simultaneously not negatively affecting their cognitive performance.

The adults’ cycling speed increased about 25 percent while doing the easiest cognitive tasks, but decreased as they attempted more difficult tasks; however, this simply brought them back to their original distraction-free cycling speed.  6 out of 12 tasks were completed faster when complemented with multitasking.

These results were shocking to the University of Florida researchers. “We reran the statistics multiple times to be sure it was right, and it was,” says Dr. Lori Altmann, a speech and language professor at the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions.

The science behind this traces back to arousal in the brain and the release of neurotransmitters. Exercise increases arousal in regions of the brain that control movement; the arousal then increases the release of neurotransmitters that improve brain speed and efficiency. Altmann believes this arousing effect in the brain could facilitate motor performance.

Go ahead, bring that textbook or the latest issue of People magazine to Ernie or Marshall Square Mall, because it turns out you truly can multitask your way to a successful, sweaty gym sesh.

Additional Sources:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/should-you-multitask-while-you-exercise/

By Gabriella Salkin

Fitness

The Daily Dozen

You can do twelve of anything! Try these…

12 Squats

12 Mountain Climbers

12 Burpees. Make it a challenge and add a pushup or two for every burpee.

12 Sit ups

12 Pushups. Remember to keep your core tight and stay about 6 inches from the floor.

12 Triceps Dips. Pull out your desk chair and position your hands shoulder width apart. Slowly bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, then push back up.

12 Lunges. Step forward with one foot creating a 90-degree angle, step back. Kick it up a notch, by doing 12 forward lunges then 12 backwards!

12 Jumping Jacks

12 Second Plank. Hold it for 12 seconds.

12 Russian Twists. Create a V shape with your body, then tighten your core and rotate from side to side.  For more of a challenge, raise your feet and double the counts.

12 Booty Kicks. Start on all fours.  Raise your right knee to a 90-degree angle and pulse for twelve counts. Reverse and repeat for the left side.

12 High Fives to You! Pat yourself on the back, because you just completed your first daily dozen.

This workout will take less than ten minutes and is a great way to break up a study sesh or a pre-shower routine. The best part is that no equipment is required. It’s easy to just throw your favorite song on and crank out this daily dozen.

Going a Step Further: Create a challenge group!

If you give a girl a challenge, chances are she’ll conquer it. You are not the only girl on the floor looking to avoid that freshman 15.  Be courageous and ask your floor mates if they want to start a daily squat challenge or a fun nightly ab routine. Creating a team of girls requires you to be committed and gives you something active to look forward to.

Adapted from Body Rock.

By Sydney Hughes

Get Well

Staying Focused: The 5 Tips Your Grades Can’t Live Without

We’re living in a world where half of our generation seems to have ADHD and the other half is too engrossed in social media to pay attention to anything. As you head out for that pesky 8am class with your eyes barely open and your body craving caffeine, making it through the day seems impossible. But, have no fear friends! Here’s some tips that will make even the most prize-winning procrastinators focus:

  1. Make a list

Go back to the basics. Before having a mental breakdown about that chemistry quiz, take out the notes on your phone or a piece of paper and write down everything you need to accomplish. You can even put different categories on your list to separate personal and academic things. After you get your life down on paper, checking things off that list feels nothing less than liberating!

  1. Set a timer

If you are the type of person that thrives under pressure, set a timer for anywhere from 15-45 minutes. If you put the pressure of time on work you know needs to get finished, you are much more likely to want to compete to beat that timer. Once you start hearing that annoying ring tone you set earlier, pat yourself on the back and go take a five or ten minute break.

  1. Put your phone on airplane mode

It’s much easier to stay focused in class or on work when your phone isn’t lighting up every five seconds for that Instagram photo your friends keep liking. This helps to keep the temptation of checking all your social media, emails, and texts at bay.

  1. Find a good spot

Even though it’s tempting to hide under the plush covers of your bed to do work online, it’s also a good way to take an accidental three-hour nap. If you are a very social person, sometimes it helps to lock yourself in a place where you won’t get distracted easily by peers. Some great spots on campus include the lounge in Hendrick’s near People’s Place, private rooms in Whitman or Newhouse, and Café Kubal on Marshall.

  1. Exercise beforehand

Exercise usually leaves us with an optimistic outlook on life and generally make us feel more motivated for the rest of the day. By shedding your problems at the gym and immersing yourself in a fresh burst of endorphins, you will likely succeed at staying focused later on. Besides, who wants to work out after you’ve been stuck in the library for five hours? Netflix and chill, please.

By Sarah Kinzler

Eat Smart · Nutrition

5 Great Vegetarian Post-Workout Snacks

Finding the perfect post-workout snack can be an area of confusion for many students aiming toward building muscle or burning fat. Dietary restrictions can further misguide food choices after a workout, which are critical in repairing muscle tissues and replenishing glycogen stores depleted after strenuous exercise. Snacks high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low… Continue reading 5 Great Vegetarian Post-Workout Snacks

Feel Great · Fitness

5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Spin Class

Trendy spin classes can put a real dent in your wallet. SoulCycle averages about $30 per ride depending on location, and its competitor Flywheel can charge you anywhere from $30 to $35. So you’d be wise to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to get your money’s worth out of your workout. Here… Continue reading 5 Secrets to Getting the Most Out of Your Spin Class

Eat Smart · Feel Great · Fitness · Nutrition

The Maya Moore Diet

So, what’s her secret? After making just a slight tweak to her diet, WNBA player Maya Moore saw significant improvement in her performance on the basketball court. After spending some time with Kara Lawson, WNBA veteran, prior to the 2013 WNBA season, Moore completely cut out dairy foods from her diet and consumption of processed… Continue reading The Maya Moore Diet

Feel Great · Fitness

Pre-Workouts – Are They Really Doing What You Think They Are?

A pre-workout is a supplement taken on its own or added to a drink that gives the person in question an energy boost. Personally, I was taking one for my early morning workouts to make them more effective, or so I thought. What exactly is in a pre-workout? According to “The Corpus Compendium”, a fitness… Continue reading Pre-Workouts – Are They Really Doing What You Think They Are?

Fitness

Soak Up the Sun–Along with Some Fluids

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, the endorphins are flowing like the trees in a summer breeze. Suddenly, a feeling of weakness interrupts your workout. Your mouth becomes dry, your muscles are cramping and you’ve noticed that your sweating has decreased. This is your body telling you that you are dehydrated. While Mother… Continue reading Soak Up the Sun–Along with Some Fluids

Fitness

Breathe Some Fresh Air Into Your Workout Routine

In case you were stuck inside on Earth Day this past Sunday, you still have ample opportunity to get outside and embrace Mother Nature. As summer is quickly approaching, here are a few simple outdoor workouts that will keep you sweating all summer long: You don’t have to be a member of an exclusive country… Continue reading Breathe Some Fresh Air Into Your Workout Routine

Blog · Feel Great

10 Essential Items To Carry In Your Gym Bag

Photo: fitsugar Grab your backpack, print your homework and remember to squeeze in that 30-minute cardio routine between your classes. Wait! You’re missing one thing–your gym bag. Having to walk all the way back home to grab your workout gear is a pain and asking a stranger for deodorant is unsanitary–and awkward. Your gym bag… Continue reading 10 Essential Items To Carry In Your Gym Bag

Eat Smart · Feel Great

Post-Workout Foods: Proteins and Carbs to Keep You Feeling Toned

by Lindsay Barton, blogger As soon as your workout is finished, a post-workout meal immediately following exercise is essential for muscle recovery. The body must receive adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrates in order to repair muscles. Exercise wears down muscle tissue and protein is an important component of rebuilding tissue. Carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores… Continue reading Post-Workout Foods: Proteins and Carbs to Keep You Feeling Toned

Eat Smart

Fuel Your Workout!

by Lindsay Barton, blogger After a long day of classes, hitting the gym is the perfect way to clear your mind and catch a second wind. Enjoying a small snack before exercising will provide the energy needed for your workout. Read ahead to see what’s best to eat before stepping on the treadmill.

Feel Great

In the Magazine: Stretch it Out

by Debbie Letchman, WTH writer Check out this feature and other great stories in this semester’s What the Health magazine, dropping Wednesday! Stretching prepares the body for physical activity. Benefits include playing a better game, having a better run and preventing serious injury. Yet, some personal trainers at Syracuse University, say they rarely see students… Continue reading In the Magazine: Stretch it Out