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If you hate going to the gym, try these alternatives

Sydney Bommersbach, Online Editor

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Children should get 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily, and adults should get at least two and a half hours (150 minutes) of physical activity each week, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Perhaps you want to meet this goal, but the gym has been your enemy since the beginning or you’re just trying to spice up your weekly workout routine; regardless of which route you’re on, here are some different ways to get your exercise in.

 

Swimming

A benefit of choosing swim as a form of exercise is the way it works out  all parts of your body at the same time. There is no choosing what muscle group to work on because each one is used to move you forward; legs are kicking, arms are stroking, heart rate is increasing.

“The exercise it gives you is everything—cardio, endurance and strength,” junior Jake Kennedy said. “During swim practice, the team and I work on different races every day. Mondays are distance and Fridays are dead sprints, both of which work us out differently. Swimming burns so many calories. Over the course of one of our hardest practices, I lost three pounds between stepping in and out of the pool.”

PHOTO Courtesy: Jake Kennedy

 

 

Dancing

Depending on the type of dance you’re participating in, the workout can vary, however the main class structure remains the same. Beginning with warming up, stretching second and then doing steps across the floor or practicing in the middle of the room. You can break it down in hip-hop; or get your butt kicked at the ballet barre.

“I dance five days a week and each day we have different classes,” senior Savanna Lucas said. “Some days we focus more on technique through ballet, which is strength building on top of our conditioning class. Other days we work on our dances and run them over and over, which ends up being cardio. It’s a convenient way to exercise because I am able to do it at home, too.”

PHOTO Courtesy: Savanna Lucas
Holding her heel stretch, senior Savanna Lucas poses for a photo. Lucas practices at Great Lakes Dance Factory where she competes with her team.

Hiking

This form of exercise is one of the most accessible ways to get moving, get outside and spice up your routine. Although you can invest in equipment, the only real requirement for hiking is your own two legs and the willingness to sweat.

“My favorite place I’ve ever hiked was North Manitou Island when I went there to go on a scout trip,” senior Noah Maier said. “Hiking is definitely a good form of cardio, but you don’t notice it much when you’re adventuring and seeing new things with people you like.”

If you are interested in looking at the Flint River Trail, the Genesee Valley trail, or any other in the area, visit here.

PHOTO Courtesy: Noah Maier
Hiking the North Manitou Island, senior Noah Maier camped out for three days. Maier participated in the hike with his boy scout troop.

Yoga

Whether you choose to go out and attend a yoga class at a studio or just do an at-home practice session, not only are you receiving physical benefits in the form of working up a sweat, you’re also challenging your mind. After practicing yoga, you can feel better physically and mentally.

“When holding postures for minutes, your body’s weight is the resistance to itself,” Media Center Specialist and certified yoga instructor Rachel Hassell said. “You can do a really great sequence in 15 minutes and feel a burn anywhere in you body. While doing the postures, you are forced to shut off everything that’s happening in your mind and just focus on what you’re doing or you might fall over. Bringing that awareness is great for the mind, the more aware you are of yourself and your emotions, the more regulated you’ll be in life in general.”

**Hassell highly recommends the Youtube Channel “Yoga with Adriene” for home practice yoga sessions, check a beginner video out here. 

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