With March Break and new beginnings in the air, now is a great time to take a break from the sedentary side of academics, get physically active and have fun. Indoors or out, high impact or low, it’s always a good time to try new fitness activities. With temperatures rising and more sunny days on the horizon, taking a nature walk to can offer you not only a moderate physical exercise but also provide you the opportunity to temporarily shift your focus from academic and enjoy the change of season and the beauties that come with it.
Fitness activities such as walking or jogging are not only often, but they have also shown numerous health benefits. When you exercise, you produce endorphins which can make you feel happier. Reduced anxiety and stress, stronger muscle and bone structure, increased energy level are among the many health benefits of keeping your body active.
However, technique, flexibility, and balance are all skills that take time to develop. You’ll want to give each new form of exercise you try a chance, so don’t give up too easily. Once you find what is right for you, sign up for a class at your local community center or gym, build it into your schedule and make your new activity a habit. For a more budget-friendly option, consider an online App that can be used at home or the school gym.
A favorite among female celebrities, CrossFit classes offer super-short (typically 20 minutes or less) and intense workouts. For those who love to have things “mixed up,” you’ll enjoy sprinting and climbing ropes one day, weight lifting and doing push-ups the next. Many of the hardest routines are actually named after famous women. Take it easy and don’t overexert yourself as you want to avoid injuries.
Aqua fitness is not just for older adults. It benefits those of all ages and it’s more fun than you might think! Aqua fitness routines are low-impact and easy on your joints. This activity helps you build muscle with water providing far more resistance than air. Don’t misinterpret this activity as easy; you burn a good number of calories from the exercises and resistance. The support of water is easier on your joints than weight-bearing exercises such as running. You can do water walking in the swimming pool during any season. For non-swimmers, some classes include the use of a flotation vest. Try signing up for a class at your local community center.
Yoga is a mind and body practice that offers breathing, meditation and stretching exercises. With yoga, you move into different body poses with deep breathing. Many poses can be modified to accommodate different fitness and flexibility levels. Yoga promotes stretching, strengthening and elongating of the muscles. It can be intense, but also very relaxing. It is an activity to consider during exams or periods of stress. Many enjoy the opportunity to be in the moment and focus on their “self.” Some people practice daily. Popular types of yoga include Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar and Vinyasa. Gentle forms of yoga, such as restorative yoga can include props such as chairs or blankets.
If you like to dance, you’ll love Zumba. All you need for Zumba is your body and a qualified instructor. According to Zumba.com, Zumba is perfect for everyone, regardless of age and ability. Usually taught as a dance class incorporating aerobics and Latin beats, these classes are designed to bring people together to sweat and have fun. The classes mix low-intensity and high-intensity dance moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning exercise. Zumba includes cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility. Don’t get frustrated if you have trouble following along right away. You need to experience several classes with the same instructor to learn their routines.
No matter what type of exercise or activity keeps you going, try to gradually incorporate it into your daily schedule. March Break is a great opportunity to get back into outdoor activities and exploring exercise options for the remaining of the academic year. With warmer weather, try to incorporate more outdoor activities so you can enjoy the benefits of fresh air and sunshine.