Not all exercises are created equal. Fitness fanatics and gym gurus throw countless routines into media circulation every day, making simple, fun workouts rarer than the Butler Camel.
Fortunately, fun fitness alternatives to pumping iron or hitting the treadmill do exist. Below are four physical activities that exercise amateurs and experts alike will enjoy.
Yoga combines strength, balance, flexibility and mental awareness to create a uniquely relaxing workout. The unity of body and mind emphasized in yoga makes it a great college-friendly exercise.
“It’s perfect for any student because it builds physical and mental strength,” said junior Hayley Jones, fitness instructor.
Jones said yoga sessions’ low-key feel provides a welcoming atmosphere for exercise amateurs.
The stretches performed may also reduce soreness and prevent future injury.
Students looking for a high- intensity workout can grab an oar, hit the canal and try their hand at rowing.
Rowing is a total-body workout students can utilize.
“People think rowing just uses your arms, but it comes down to about 80 percent legs and 20 percent arms,” said junior Izzie Rosich, Butler rowing team president. “If you’re using correct form, you’ll work on muscles you didn’t even know you have.”
Rowing blends anaerobic and aerobic exercise.
Athletes with no rowing experience should not be discouraged from hopping in a shell and giving the sport a shot.
Rosich said Butler’s team is always looking for new members.
Music, muscles and movement meet to make aerobic dance, a fun workout for people who like to move their bodies.
The Health and Recreation Complex offers a variety of aerobic dance classes ranging from Latin Challenge—a form of Zumba—to more intense courses like Turbo Kick.
Junior fitness instructor Kelsey Lindsay teaches Core 30, Latin Challenge and Turbo Kick. She said the classes simultaneously serve as social outlets and fitness challenges.
“It’s an encouraging environment, and you have an instructor motivating you,” she said. “Instructors cue and offer modifications to different moves to fit your fitness level.”
Aerobic dance classes are offered weekdays at the HRC.
Swimming may seem an obvious alternate exercise, but the benefits the pool offers are too great to glide under the radar.
“I love swimming because you’re kind of working out without really knowing it,” said sophomore Stephanie Shoults, a member of Butler’s swim team. “You’re using your entire body to get an overall great workout.”
Shoults said the advantages of swimming are two-fold, citing mental clarity as well as physical fitness.
“Once you get in the rhythm, you’re really mentally focused and not thinking about anything else,” she said.
Swimming is also a prime exercise for those suffering from joint pain or rehabilitating injuries. The resistance created by the water is easier on the body than traditional running or weightlifting.